Thursday, February 7, 2013

DPRK Dreams of the Big Apple

Hey Everyone

Recently toyconstruct has just bypassed a milestone, and according to our pageview counter, we've gotten over a 100,000 pageviews! Hip hip hooray! We've gotten here thanks to you all! Anyway, back to today's post.

Once again, the Hermit Kingdom has confounded us.

Unlike Iran, North Korea has been pretty clear on their nuclear program: it's not for peaceful purposes. Recently, their propaganda department released a controversial video that is probably too wild to describe in words (you really have to watch it yourself!).

The gist of the video is this: North Korea dreams of reuniting the Koreas together, and using nuclear warfare and space tech to annihilate the United States, the Prime Archenemy, to oblivion. Its bold message wasn't the most controversial bit. In fact, the North Koreans attracted a lawsuit from Activision for completely lifting a sequence from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, specifically the "Hunter Killer" mission (and it's the Russians here, they could have used Homefront or the new Red Dawn movie).

The scene that the North Koreans used to great artistic effect.
To make this video even more bizzare, its makers saw fit to use an instrumental version of "We are the World," a song produced in the U.S. to fight poverty in Africa. Somehow that song fits in a video that wishes for the complete destruction of the U.S. That's real irony there.

The translations are as follow (from the Lede Blog, North Korean Propaganda Video Imagines a Brighter World, Without Manhattanby Marc Santora and Choe Sang-Hun):

“I had a dream last night, a dream of soaring into space on board our Unha-9 rocket,”

“Our Kwangmyongsong-21 spacecraft got separated from the rocket and traveled through space,”

“I see stars and the green Earth. I also see a unified Korea.”

“Meanwhile, I see black smoke rising somewhere in America,” 

“It appears that the headquarters of evil, which has had a habit of using force and unilateralism and committing wars of aggression, is going up in flames it itself has ignited.”

“Just imagine riding in a Korean spaceship. One day, my dream will come true,”

“No matter how hard the imperialists try to isolate and stifle us, they will not stop our people’s path toward our final victory of achieving a unified, strong and prosperous Korea.”

I am just exasperated on how you don't need humor outlets like College Humor and The Onion to get ridiculous video clips about North Korea...they are intriguingly capable of doing it themselves.

In spite of its dated graphics and blatant plagiarism, its underlying message is worrying and I fear of underestimating the North Koreans. North Korea sees the U.S. as the Enemy and would not hesitate to use its nuclear capabilities. Moreover, with their successful satellite launch and pending nuclear test, North Korea would be firmly holding onto and expanding their nuclear capabilities, which would add instability to the world and the ominous possibility of nuclear war.

This is not the only time that U.S. symbols have been appropriated by others. Hamas had used a direct copy of Mickey Mouse in their children's videos for a while (Fafour the Mouse). The program apparently teaches children the worthiness of the militant cause, and the suffering people face from Israel's occupation of Palestine.

It is interesting how disenfranchised groups/nations use the symbols of their enemies in their propaganda and literature. Another example I can think of goes back to Biblical times, when a deeply unpopular and cruel Jewish king (a Roman puppet) Antiochus IV titled himself Epiphanes ("God Manifest"), and his opponents used wordplay and reversed it to call him Epipmanes ("The Mad One").

Antiochus IV: either a god or a lunatic, depending on whose side you're on.
It's just a casual observation and it would be great to see if this indeed has been a trend throughout our history...and it does make me wonder: what makes the symbols of the powerful serve as effective/potent vehicles of communication for the oppressed?


  1. In a world of their own, That's all I can say about North Korea.

  2. I must agree with Joshua. It is very concerning that the vision and idealogy of the North Korean gives much cause for concern to the Global Community. Whose to say, if any other nation gets on North Korea's Hate list, that they wouldn't be affected by such a sentiment.

    The concerning thing is that they are determined to achieve what they intend to do. And if given the capabilities, they would not hesitate to do it.

  3. When you have total control of a nation in which you have effectively brainwashed the people. It isn't hard to have effective vehicles of communication under your direction. Case in point: North Korea.

  4. Every time I look at the culture and society of North Korea, a chill runs down my spine. It is truly the epitome of a totalitarian government and a hermit kingdom. Its been almost 66 years under the rule of the Kim family. Furthermore, its unrelenting oppression on its people just makes me feel sad. I wonder if there will ever be a hero that will rally the people and overthrow such regime and its ironclad control on the country.

  5. Congratulations Toyconstruct. This is an interesting vivid article on the Hermit Kingdom. But I guess we all have some common impression and opinion on the North Korean State.