Stop the foul languageNorth Korea’s state-run media has recently unleashed a violent barrage of inflammatory verbal attacks against South Korean President Park Geun-hye and American President Barack Obama. The bombardment has been ongoing since the two leaders jointly warned Pyongyang that they will crack down on any further military provocations, including a fourth nuclear test, and agreed to press the North to improve its human rights conditions.
In a May 2 dispatch, Pyongyang’s official media, the Korean Central News Agency, carried a lengthy article brimming with derogatory racist slurs against Obama. Through the mouthpiece of a Chollima Steel Complex factory worker, Obama was ridiculed as “being reminiscent of a wicked black monkey” and “a crossbreed with unclear blood.”
Washington labelled the comments as disgusting and offensive. Both the U.S. National Security Council and the State Department made a rare rebuttal to these North Korean comments, which are usually snubbed as too ridiculous to respond to. But this recent propaganda angered Washington because of the blatant racist slurs it contained.
North Korea also delivered a sexist tirade against Korea’s female President Park, which does not need to be repeated here.
Even the tragic Sewol ferry sinking served as a useful way to provoke Seoul. Pyongyang sent a letter of condolence a week after the Sewol ferry capsized on April 16 with more than 300 passengers on board. But it is now advising Park outright to step down in an obvious attempt to exploit anti-government sentiment simmering in the South following the disaster. Pyongyang has clearly forgotten the proposal it made to Seoul suggesting the two nations halt their criticism and slander of one another to improve inter-Korean ties after the resumption of family reunions earlier this year.
In a wired world, the language and the political apparatus a nation uses becomes the standard on which to judge the integrity of its leader. Pyongyang is further isolating itself from the global political arena, as well as civilian community, with its fit of foul language and timeworn propaganda. It has even worsened under the third-generation hereditary leader Kim Jong-un. We sincerely advise Pyongyang to reassess its language use.
JoongAng Ilbo, May 12, Page 34