Essay By Ben Bollinger
In this essay, I will be going through frequent lies that have been said about North Korea by the western media and debunking them. Most western attacks on the DPRK are laughable and can easily be disproved with just the smallest bit of critical thinking, but unfortunately the DPRK gets bashed by the west so much that people never question even the most absurd claims about the DPRK. This essay will not be addressing all of the claims made against North Korea, but rather just showing examples of the media being caught lying; just to show how frequently it happens. So let’s begin.
On April 7th 2014, the DailyMail published an article called “The homemade Kim-Il Drone! North Korean’s secret spy plane is unveiled after it crashed and revealed to have been carrying a normal Canon camera” (1) on their website which made the claim that the DPRK had sent a secret spy drone into South Korea to do surveillance. This story quickly spread across many media outlets, and was accepted as truth among the average western citizen, until a month later in May of 2014 when it was discovered that the so called spy drone from the DPRK, was indeed just a portable toilet door made to look like a drone (2)(3). This is just one of many examples of the media hearing a story about North Korea, thinking “that sounds like them” and then publishing it without an ounce of skeptical analysis.
The next instance in which the media made a blatantly false claim about the DPRK in November of 2012 when the Guardian reported “Unicorn lair ‘discovered’ in North Korea” (4) as if to imply that North Koreans were so stupid that they’d believe anything their government told them, including a story about Unicorns being real. I have even seen this myth pop up every now and then on Instagram or social media just because of how funny it is for western people to insult the DPRK and how accepted these insults and lies are. Much like the last story, it wasn’t long before the Guardian retracted their claim about the DPRK a month later in December when they found out that North Korean archaeologists hadn’t claimed to discover unicorns, but rather journalists who were desperate for a story just mistranslated a few documents to try and meet their narrative (5).
This next claim against the DPRK is one of the more horrendous ones, and really demonstrates just how far western journalists are willing to go in their lack of critical thinking in order to push their anti-DPRK rhetoric and bring in that ad revenue. Three years ago, the Independent published an article claiming that Kim Jong Un executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek by stripped him naked, and feeding him to 120 dogs as officials watched (not even joking) (6). This appalling and disgraceful claim was, of course, retracted several weeks later when it was discovered that the claim was originally made up by a Chinese satirist who was infamous for spreading lies about the DPRK (7). This is just yet another example of the western media being caught in their lies, and the sad part is is that even though these websites sometimes retract their nonsense articles, regular people still go about believing this anyways because they heard it once and didn’t bother to verify the story’s validity.
Our next baseless accusation against North Korea once again comes from the Independent in which they claimed that the DPRK executed 80 people for watching foreign films (8), the Independent apparently got this information from a South Korean news outlet called Seoul’s JoongAng Ilbo daily, and South Korea would never lie about the DPRK would they? Well of course, they did. Simply entering a search into YouTube or Google regarding North Korean films or film festivals and you will clearly see western movies being represented there, such as this one. Not to mention the fact that even if the DPRK did censor western films, they do have their own creative film industry (9).’
And the last myth perpetuated by the west about the DPRK I will be busting today is a myth that I constantly see being used as a meme on Instagram and various other social media sites, and that is that North Korea claimed that they landed on the sun. This story originates from WaterfordWhispersNews when they published an article in January of 2014 titled “North Korea Lands First Ever Man On The Sun, Confirms Central News Agency.” (10) To anyone with even the smallest bit of regard for the truth, this article should right away appear to be suspicious, and of course it was when it was proven to be a hoax by iMediaEthics when they discovered that the claim was just made up by a known Irish satirist who loved to invent stories about the DPRK (11).
The fact that we still see many of these myths floating around on social media, despite how long they’ve been debunked, really shows how ignorant we are to North Korea, and how gullible we are to the media’s lies. This is not even the tip of the iceberg, I plan on doing more of these in the future however for now I will wrap up this essay. If you enjoted it, or hated it, please let me know in the comments or message me on Instagram. Thanks for reading!