North Korea endorses ‘Double Down’ as proof that ‘The U.S. is the root cause of all sorts of evils’

November 18, 2013

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea's official media arm, the Korean Central News Agency, will seize on just about anything that helps it portray the "U.S. imperialist dogs" as the innately evil cause of all the world's suffering. On Sunday, KCNA found a new source for its media campaign: "Double Down," the gossipy new book chronicling the 2012 presidential election.

On Sunday, KCNA reported on a story in another North Korean state outlet, the newspaper Minju Joson (this is a quirky little habit of North Korean media) that quoted liberally from a "new book" on "the personality of U.S. President Obama." (According to NKNews.org, which aggregated the KCNA story, the item was referencing "Double Down.") The story argues two things: that the book exposes Obama as a cold-blooded, war-mongering killer and that these revelations were generating wide public outrage against the president.

Here's KCNA:

The book says in detail how Obama organized "anti-terror war" and murdered people.

In particular, the book refers to the fact that Obama, laureate of Nobel Peace Prize, killed a lot of civilians by hundreds of drone strikes at Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It reveals the fact that Obama unhesitatingly said himself that he is good at man-hunting.

The above appears to reference a line in "Double Down" that quotes Obama as telling some staffers that drones made him "really good at killing people."

Here's Minju Josen, the other North Korean state outlet to write on the book:

As soon as the book was released, it sparked off great uproar among the readers.

A lot of people expressed hatred for the personality of the U.S. president and skepticism about the "anti-terror war" of the U.S.

From its beginning this war was not for world peace and stability but for the implementation of the U.S. strategy for world domination.

Obviously "Double Down" has not actually "sparked off great uproar" any more than the book argues, as Minju Josen claims, that "The U.S. has wantonly infringed upon the independent rights of sovereign countries while resorting to the highhanded and arbitrary practices in the international arena." And whoever at North Korean state media wrote up these items surely know that, if they even bothered to read the books. More likely they saw U.S. press reports on the "really good at killing people" quote and decided just to go from there.

After all, foreign books are illegal in North Korea and would have to be smuggled in from China. The odds that anyone in the country will ever read "Double Down" are very low, so North Korea can just claim that the book says whatever they want; so too can they make up stories about the reaction against the book. In North Korean state media, after all, the world is perpetually horrified at and outraged with the United State, although only Pyongyang is brave enough to stand up to the imperialist dogs.

This is my favorite part from the Minju Josen story, which outright fabricates an anti-American thesis for the book and concludes that, obviously, the United States is the cause of all evil in the world.

As the book says, the U.S. is pleased to see guiltless people mercilessly killed.

The U.S. is the root cause of all sorts of evils and misfortunes in the world and disturber of peace and cancer-like existence.

KCNA may have wildly misrepresented "Double Down," but the North Korean state media outlet and the political horse-race book do seem to share a love of purple-tinged prose and mixed metaphors.

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Max Fisher | November 18, 2013