Wednesday, December 31, 2014

By Christine Hong
Global Research, December 29, 2014
Asia-Pacific Journal
Region: Asia
Theme: Culture, Society & History, Media Disinformation, US NATO War Agenda
“And if it does start a war, hopefully people will say, ‘You know what? It was worth it. It was a good movie!’” —Seth Rogen
“Wacky dictators sell newspapers, and magazines—for example, the 2003 Newsweek cover depicting Kim [Jong Il] in dark sunglasses over a cover line that read ‘Dr. Evil.’ …But demonization, and ridicule, can be dangerous. At its worst, dehumanizing the other side helps to lay the groundwork for war.” —Donald Macintyre.
 Representations of North Korea as a buffoon, a menace, or both on the American big screen are at least as old and arguably as tired as the George W. Bush-era phrase, “the axis of evil.” Along with the figure of the Muslim “terrorist,” hackneyed Hollywood constructions of the “ronery” or diabolical Dr. Evil-like North Korean leader bent on world domination, the sinister race-bending North Korean spy, the robotic North Korean commando, and other post-Cold War Red/Yellow Peril bogeymen have functioned as go-to enemies for the commercial film industry’s geopolitical and racist fantasies. Explaining why the North Korean leader was the default choice for the villain in his 2014 regime-change comedy, The Interview, Seth Rogen has stated,
“It’s not that controversial to label [North Korea] as bad. It’s as bad as it could be.”1 Indeed, one-dimensional caricatures of North Korea flourish in the Western media in no small part because “[w]acky dictators sell.”2 Yet when it comes to Hollywood’s North Korean regime change narratives, the line between fact and fiction, not to mention the distinction between freedom of expression and government propaganda, is revealingly thin. Whether in Hollywood or Washington, the only permissible narrative for North Korea is what Donald Macintyre, former Seoul bureau chief for Time magazine has called “the demonization script.”
Not only have the dream machines of the entertainment industry long played an instrumental role within American theaters of war, but also, U.S. officials and political commentators often marshal the language of entertainment—for example, the description of U.S.-South Korea combined military exercises as “war games” and the Obama administration’s references to the Pentagon’s “playbook” with regard to North Korea—when describing U.S. military maneuvers on and around the Korean peninsula.
Beyond the American entertainment industry’s insatiable appetite for evildoers, how might we account for the anachronistic place of North Korea as a Cold War foe that outlasted the end of the Cold War within Hollywood’s post-9/11 rogues’ gallery? With the eyes of the world trained on various flashpoints in the Middle East, what mileage of any kind can be gotten from the North Korean “bad guy” in Hollywood? If American moviegoers might be depended on to possess a vague awareness of geopolitical context, perhaps even to have some sense of the history of U.S. “hot” involvement subtending Hollywood’s latest Islam phobic interventionist adventure, by contrast, North Korea, routinely depicted in the U.S. media as shrouded in mystery and beyond comprehension, can be counted on to draw a complete blank. Truth, we are often told, is wilder than our wildest imaginings in North Korea, therefore the rule-of-thumb when it comes to representing North Korea in Hollywood appears to be that anything goes—even films featuring Kim Jong Un’s head deconstructing and bursting into flames. Violent spectacle thus stands in for substantive treatment, leaving more complex truths about North Korea elusive. It is worth recalling that North Korea has been dubbed a “black hole” by former CIA director Robert Gates, “the longest-running intelligence failure in the history of espionage” according to ex-CIA Seoul station chief and former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Donald Gregg, and the “Heart of Darkness” in the words of congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. It’s against this backdrop of near-total ignorance about North Korea, a place about which Americans possess great conviction but little knowledge, that North Korea serves as a malleable screen onto which the entertainment industry’s fantasies can be projected—fantasies that reflect less reality about North Korea than commentary about Hollywood’s own murky ideological substratum.
Here, it merits considering two post-9/11, “axis of evil” films that move in opposite directions but intersect with U.S. policy in ways few critics have observed: Red Dawn 2, MGM’s 2012 reboot of the 1984 Cold War original, in which North Korean invaders vaingloriously attempt regime change on U.S. soil only to be outdone by a pack of suburban American teenagers who call themselves “the Wolverines,” and The Interview, Sony’s 2014 screwball comedy in which a fatuous American TV talk show host and his producer are enlisted by the CIA to “take out” Kim Jong Un as a sure-fire means of ensuring North Korean regime collapse. If Red Dawn 2, described by Wired as “the dumbest movie ever,” inadvertently descended into farce by expecting that American viewers would “take North Korea seriously as an existential threat,” The Interview, catapulted to unlikely world-historical importance, has become the focus of serious controversy and incessant Western media commentary.
North Korea furnishes the central villain in The Interview—though, in this case, a rube of a “dictator” who has crippling “self-esteem and ‘daddy issues,’” according to leaked Sony emails. Yet, in the media-storm around the Sony hacking, North Korea has transitioned beyond the screen into an easy fall guy. At a juncture in which the White House has turned a new page with Cuba, even going so far as to describe a half-century of ineffectual U.S. isolationist policy aimed at Cuban regime change as a failure, North Korea, also long the target of U.S. regime change designs, risks resuming its old place on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism from which it had been removed, by George W. Bush no less, in 2008. In other words, at a moment when Cuba stands to step off the four-country list, which also includes Iran, Sudan, and Syria, North Korea, accused of hacking into Sony and issuing terrorist threats over the release of The Interview, faces the prospect of stepping back on.9 At this moment, we are thus witness to two radically different dynamics: the prospect of long-awaited rapprochement, normalization, and engagement with Cuba in stark contrast to a war of words, threats of retaliation, and escalation when it comes to North Korea. In reference to the hacking of Sony, which the FBI has insisted can be traced to North Korea—an assertion of culpability that The New York Times dutifully reported as fact despite proliferating assessments and overwhelming opinion to the contrary in the larger cyber-security community—U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, on December 22, 2014, laid out an astonishing injury claim, on Sony’s behalf, against North Korea: “The government of North Korea has a long history of denying its destructive and provocative actions and if they want to help here they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damage, damages that they caused.”
Yet missing in this lopsided discussion of reparations and national amnesia is any grappling, on the part of the United States, with the profound human costs of six decades of hostile U.S. intervention on the Korean peninsula, much less the fact that the official relationship between the United States and North Korea remains one of unfinished war. In the mid-twentieth century, the United States, which set the stage for bloodshed by cleaving the Korean peninsula in two with no Korean input in 1945, and by supporting separate elections in the South in 1948, then militarily intervened in 1950 on behalf of its South Korean ally Syngman Rhee (a ruthless dictator, no doubt, but “our guy,” in the parlance of the Cold War State Department) in a war of national reunification that followed. That war, the Korean War, remains tragically unresolved to this day. During the war’s battle-phase, the United States wielded near-total aerial superiority, an index of asymmetrical warfare, to devastating consequences, especially in the North. When the dust settled, an estimated four million Koreans has been killed, seventy percent of whom were civilians, millions more were transformed into refugees, and one in three Korean families was separated by a dividing line that had been hardened by war into an impassable, intensely fortified, militarized border, which U.S. presidents ever since have referred to as “Freedom’s Frontier.” As historian Bruce Cumings notes, memory plays out differently north of the DMZ: “What is indelible is the extraordinary destructiveness of the American air campaigns against North Korea, ranging from the widespread and continuous use of firebombing (mainly with napalm), to threats to use nuclear and chemical weapons, and finally to the destruction of huge North Korean dams in the final stages of the war.” This memory of ruin, so central to North Korea’s consolidation as a state, registers little, if at all, within the United States where the Korean War is tellingly referred to as “the Forgotten War.” Indeed, few in the United States realize that this war is not over, whereas no one in North Korea can forget it.
Yet, whether they realize it or not, Americans view and naturalize North Korea through a lens that is clouded by the fog of an unfinished war. In what has unfurled as one of the strangest PR campaigns for a Hollywood Christmas release ever, the FBI’s assertions that North Korea was behind the cyber attack on Sony—an intelligence assessment presented without evidence yet framed as self-sufficient fact by the Obama administration—highlights the centrality of intelligence as the filter through which we are urged to perceive North Korea and other historic enemies of the United States. It is worth remarking that the two primary ways that Americans “know” North Korea are through forms of intelligence—defector and satellite, precisely the two types of supposedly airtight evidence that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the UN Security Council in early 2003 as incontrovertible “proof” that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Then as now, information about a longstanding U.S. military target is not aimed at producing a truthful picture about that society or its leadership but rather at defeating the supposed enemy—in short, paving the way to regime change. It is precisely within this haze of disinformation about North Korea that Hollywood churns out films that walk in lockstep with a relentless U.S. policy of regime change.
With Obama stepping into the role of booster-in-chief for The Interview, we might examine the blurred lines between what both the U.S. President and Seth Rogen have insisted is an issue of freedom of speech and artistic expression, on the one hand, and government propaganda, on the other. The collusion between Sony, the White House, and the military industrial complex, as revealed by leaked emails, merits a closer look. Not only did Obama, in his final 2014 press conference, manage to avoid any discussion of the CIA torture report, but also he gave outsized attention to a film that Sony had reportedly shelved, in effect giving an invaluable presidential thumbs-up for The Interview. With the spectacle of North Korea implausibly rearing its head in the president’s remarks as “the biggest topic today,” the pressing issue of U.S. accountability for torture, with even major media outlets calling for a criminal probe into the responsibility of former Vice President Dick Cheney, former CIA director George Tenet, legal architect John Yoo, among others, was deflected.12Instead, North Korea was launched to front-page news and Sony’s temporary, arguably savvy, PR decision to pull The Interview was framed, in accordance with Obama’s comments, as a capitulation to censorship by “some dictator someplace.”13 We might ask: what political capital stands to be gained from maintaining a hard line on North Korea, at a moment of détente with Cuba? As hacked emails from the head of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton, disclose, Sony’s tête-à-tête with the Obama administration over The Interview must be dated back to the production stage. Having screened a rough cut of the film at the State Department, Sony appears to have queried officials, including Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea, Robert King, specifically about what it worried was the over-the-top violence of the head-exploding assassination scene of Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park). Harboring no such qualms, the State Department gave the green light.
Asked by The New York Times in a December 16, 2014 interview whether they were frightened by “the initial ambiguous threats that North Korea made,” lead actor James Franco stated, “They went after Obama as much as us,” adding in tongue-in-cheek fashion, “Because Obama actually produced the movie.” Seth Rogen, co-lead and, along with Evan Goldberg, co director of The Interview, clarified, “They don’t have freedom of speech there, so they don’t get that people make stuff.”14 Within the space of the same NYT interview, however, Rogen offered a less innocuous account of the production process: “Throughout this process, we made relationships with certain people who work in the government as consultants, who I’m convinced are in the C.I.A.” Indeed, in addition to State Department officials, Bruce Bennett, a North Korea watcher and regime-change advocate at the Rand Corporation, the U.S. military-funded think tank, and a consultant to the government on North Korea, also served as a consultant with Sony on this film. His primary, albeit hardly novel, thesis on North Korea is that the assassination of the North Korean leader is the surest way of guaranteeing regime collapse in North Korea. In a June 25, 2014 email to Sony Entertainment CEO, Lynton, who also sits on the Rand Board of Trustees—an indication of Sony’s cozy relationship with the military industrial complex—Bennett implied that a North Korean regime-change cultural narrative, by dint of its politicized reception within the Korean peninsula, might oil the machinery of actual regime collapse. As he put it, referring to his 2013 book, Preparing for the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse,
“I have been clear that the assassination of Kim Jong-Un is the most likely path to a collapse of the North Korean government. Thus while toning down the ending [the assassination scene] may reduce the North Korean response, I believe that a story that talks about the removal of the Kim family regime and the creation of a new government by the North Korean people (well, at least the elites) will start some real thinking in South Korea and, I believe, in the North once the DVD leaks into the North (which it almost certainly will). So from a personal perspective, I would personally prefer to leave the ending alone.”
In their defense of the film’s creative integrity (prior to the email leaks), both Rogen and Goldberg claimed that their decision to explicitly identify the North Korean leader of the film as “Kim Jong Un” was met with “some resistance” at Sony, yet as The Daily Beast subsequently reported, the leaked emails “strongly suggest that it was Sony’s idea to insert Kim Jong Un in The Interview as the film’s antagonist” following consultation with “a former CIA [sic] agent and someone who used to work for Hilary [sic] Clinton.”
 Perhaps none of this should come as a surprise. Hollywood, after all, has given us Black Hawk Down, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and other propaganda films. Yet it runs counter to a reading of The Interview as harmless entertainment, much less as a matter of freedom of speech or pure artistic expression. It might also remind us that culture, when it comes to U.S. enemies, has always been a terrain of manipulation and war. During the Korean War’s hot-fighting phase, the United States dropped a staggering 2.5 billion propaganda leaflets on North Korea as part of its psy-war “hearts and minds” operations. Throughout the Cold War, the CIA, as is well-known, funded American arts and letters in a kulturkampf with the socialist bloc, maneuvering behind the scenes to foster “democratic” cultural expressions that would, in turn, be held up as evidence of the superiority of the culture of American freedom. Today, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a supposedly non-governmental agency established in the Reagan era to do what the CIA did covertly during the Cold War and funded almost entirely by Congress, sponsors and disseminates defector narratives, what the CIA calls “human intelligence,” as the truth about North Korea.17 Central to NED’s objectives is the promotion of “second cultural” products about target or “priority” countries, for example, the “dissemination of books, films or television programs illuminating or advocating democracy,” as a means of delegitimizing and ultimately destabilizing the leadership of “closed societies.”18 In its work on North Korea, NED supports defector organizations in South Korea and Japan, which it mobilizes as an exogenous alternative to North Korean civil society—a second culture whose propaganda can be infiltrated via radio broadcast, balloon drops, smuggled USB drives, and other underground distributional means into North Korea. Although leaked emails indicate that Sony’s South Korean division opted early on not to screen The Interview in South Korea, citing an aversion to its caricature of the leader of North Korea and spoof of a “North Korean” accent, South Korea’s centrality as a site for a more sinister distribution of the film might give us some pause. Much along the lines advocated by Bennett, organizations like the U.S.-based, rightwing Human Rights Foundation headed by the self-professed Venezuelan “freedom fighter” Thor Halvorssen Mendoza as well as South Korean defector groups asserted their readiness, even prior to Sony’s temporary pulling of the film, to conduct illegal balloon drops of DVD copies of The Interview from South Korea into North Korea. We might note that one of the Korean subheadings on Sony’s promotional poster for the film reads explicitly to a North Korean audience: “Don’t believe these ignorant American jackasses.” Of the film’s propagandistic value, Halvorssen, who describes comedies as “hands down the most effective of counterrevolutionary devices”—here, echoing Rogen’s cavalier assessment of the film’s supposedly subversive potential, “Maybe the tapes will make their way to North Korea and start a fucking revolution”— told Newsweek, “Parody and satire is powerful. Ideas are what are going to win in North Korea.
Ideas will bring down that regime.”
Revealingly, those who profess to be so concerned about democracy when it comes to the release of The Interview rarely, if ever, consider the profoundly undemocratic implications of Obama’s militarized “pivot” toward Asia and the Pacific. Here, Hollywood’s North Korean “bad guy” merits critical consideration against the context of U.S. policy, past and present, within a larger Asia-Pacific region in which the United States seeks to ensure its dominance. Although Barack Obama’s foreign policy is unavoidably identified with the Middle East where he has continued and intensified Bush’s interventionist policies, his foreign policy vision from the outset has been explicitly oriented toward the Pacific. As Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton signaled the significance of Asia by making it her first overseas destination, bypassing Europe, the customary grand tour destination for her predecessors. Offering a blueprint of twenty-first-century U.S. power designs within the Asia-Pacific region, which he identified as America’s “future,” “the world’s fastest-growing region,” and “home to more than half the global economy,” Obama, in a November 2011 speech before the Australian Parliament, stated, “Our new focus on this region reflects a fundamental truth—the United States has been, and always will be, a Pacific nation.”21 As both Obama and members of his administration have taken pains to convey, the United States must be globally understood to be “a Pacific power.”
Ripped from the script of Red Dawn 2, the bait-and-switch narrative Obama has adhered to with regard to Asia and the Pacific requires North Korea to fulfill a necessary devil-function. Here, it is worth recalling that in 2012, MGM, facing a barrage of criticism from news media in China—not coincidentally the second largest movie market in the world, one that brought Hollywood an estimated $1.4 billion dollars in the year of Red Dawn 2’s release—announced it had decided, at the eleventh hour, to replace the film’s Chinese bad guys with North Korean villains. North Korea, of little significance as an open consumer market in today’s global entertainment industry, could be pasted in as China’s proxy, with few financial consequences. Digitally altering PRC flags, military insignia, and propaganda posters to appear “North Korean” would cost the studio well over a million dollars in the post-production phase. Although Obama’s policy toward North Korea has officially been one his advisers dub “strategic patience,” or non-engagement, North Korea has served as a cornerstone in this administration’s interventionist approach toward the Asia-Pacific region. Although an expanded American military role in the region, including a “rebalancing” of U.S. naval forces to 60% (in contrast to 40% in the Atlantic), may be aimed at containing a rising China, the growing U.S. regional military presence, under Obama’s “pivot” policy, has been overtly justified by the specter of a nuclear-armed, volatile North Korea.
Not merely the stuff of Hollywood fantasies, North Korea, inflated as an existential menace, has been indispensable, for example, to “the deployment of ballistic missile defenses closer to North Korea,” not to mention sales of surveillance drone technology to regional allies.
Indeed, central to the staging of U.S. forward-deployed missile defense systems—Aegis, Patriot, and THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense)—in and off the coast of Hawai‘i, Guam, Taiwan, Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea (including, eventually on Jeju Island) has been the purported dangers posed by an armed, dangerous, and totally unpredictable North Korea to both the western coast of the United States and regional allies in the Pacific. In recent years, this portrait of an unhinged, trigger-happy North Korea has justified the acceleration of the THAAD
missile-defense system in Guam, a second U.S. missile defense radar deployed near Kyoto, Japan, the positioning of nuclear aircraft carriers throughout the Pacific, and lucrative sales of military weapons systems to U.S. client-states through the Asia-Pacific region. Albeit all key elements in U.S. first-strike attack planning, this amplified militarization of the “American Lake” is justified by the Pentagon as a “precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat.”24 As early as June 2009, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in announcing the deployment of both the THAAD and sea based radar systems to Hawai‘i, explained, “I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect American territory” from a North Korean threat.25 In early April 2013, in a press release announcing its missile defense deployment throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the Pentagon stated, “The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests.” Advertised as safeguarding “the region against the North Korean threat,” the X-band radar system, which the United States sold to Japan “is not directed at China,” as U.S. officials were careful to state, but simply a defensive measure undertaken in response to the danger posed by Pyongyang.
As critics have pointed out, “There is…nothing ‘defensive’” about any of this, least of all the “B-52 and B-2 nuclear strategic bombers,” which the Obama administration put into play in early 2013 on the Korean peninsula.28 Indeed, such “flights were designed to demonstrate, to North Korea in the first instance, the ability to conduct nuclear strikes at will anywhere in North East Asia.”29 Yet, even as the North Koreans have had to hunker down, with “single-minded unity,” in preparation for the prospect of a David-and-Goliath showdown with the United States, the true audience of the U.S.-directed dramaturgy of war styled as the “pivot” policy unquestionably has always been China.
Claiming to have done conducted “a lot” of research on North Korea; Seth Rogen has insisted that The Interview holds up a mirror to North Korea’s reality: “We didn’t make up anything. It’s all real.” His conclusion about North Korea after conducting exhaustive research “It was f–king weird.”30 Yet, even as the curtains go up in movie theaters across the United States for The Interview, the centrality of the North Korean demon to Obama’s pivot policy within Asia and the Pacific, itself a historic theater of U.S. war, may prove to be far stranger than fiction.
Christine Hong is an assistant professor at University of California Santa Cruz. She is on the executive board of the Korea Policy Institute, the coordinating committee of the National Campaign to End the Korean War, and part of the Working Group on Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific.
1 Josh Rottenberg, “Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Like that Kim Jong Un Doesn’t Get the Joke,” LA Times 3 December 2014. As Rogen’s comments in this interview with the LA Times reveal, the biographical particulars of the North Korean leader did not matter; indeed, one leader was interchangeable for another. Rogen and his fellow filmmaker Evan Goldberg initially envisioned Kim Jong Il as the arch-villain of the film but, with his death in December 2011, simply replaced him with Kim Jong Un.
2 Donald Macintyre, “U.S. Media and the Korean Peninsula,” Korea Witness: 135 Years of War, Crisis and News in the Land of the Morning Calm, ed. Donald Kirk and Choe Sang Hun (Seoul: EunHaeng Namu, 2006), 404.
3 Ibid., 407.
4 As quoted in Don Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History (New York: Basic Perseus Books, 2001) 60; “North Korea’s Heart of Darkness,” Dong-4  A Ilbo, 23 May 2012.
5 Sandy Schaefer, “‘The Interview’ Red Band Trailer: Rogen and Franco Serve Their Comedy,” Screen Rant, September 2014 .
6 David Axe, “North Korea Invades America in Dumbest Movie Ever,” Wired 4 August 2012.
7 Sam Biddle, “Leaked Emails: Sony Execs Scared of ‘Desperately Unfunny’ Interview,” Defamer, 15 December 2014.
8 As reported in The Daily Beast, Obama, in clarifying a new U.S. policy approach to Cuba, stated, “‘I do not believe we can continue doing the same thing for five decades and expect a different result,’ said Obama in a none-too-subtle allusion to a popular definition of insanity.” See Christopher Dickey, “Obama Realizes What 10 Presidents Didn’t: Isolating Cuba Doesn’t Work,” The Daily Beast, 18 December 2014.
9 See Amy Chozick, “Obama Says He’ll Weigh Returning North Korea to Terror List,” The New York Times, 21 December 2014.
10 State Department, Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 22 December 2014. Noting that a heavy regime of U.S. and international sanctions prevents direct financial dealings with North Korea, AP reporter Matt Lee asked Harf to clarify what she meant by “compensation”: “‘How could Sony legally accept compensation from North Korea? Is there an exception?’ Lee asked. ‘Because as far as I know, if you’re getting a payment, a direct payment, from the North Korean government, you’re breaking the law.’” See “Reporter Dismantles State Dept Suggestion that North Korea Pay Compensation to Sony,” Free Beacon, 22 December 2014. On skepticism from cyber-security experts that North Korea was responsible for the hacking, see Elissa Shevinsky, “In Plain English: Five Reasons Why Security Experts Are Skeptical North Korea Masterminded the Sony Attack,” Business Insider, 22 December 2014 and Marc Rogers, “No, North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony,” The Daily Beast, 24 December 2014.
11 Bruce Cumings, “On the Strategy and Morality of American Nuclear Policy in Korea, 1950 to the Present,” Social Science Japan Journal 1:1 (1998): 57.
12 “Remarks by the President in Year-End Press Conference,” The White House, 19 December 2014; The New York Times Editorial Board, “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses,” The New York Times, 21 December 2014.
13 “Remarks by the President in Year-End Press Conference.”
14 Dave Itzkoff, “James Franco and Seth Rogen Talk about ‘The Interview,’” The New York Times, 16 December 2014.
15 Although purportedly an expert on the Korean peninsula, Bennett offers an assessment of South Korean receptivity to The Interview that is contradicted by Sony’s own internal emails. Fearing controversy, Sony’s South Korean division passed on opening the film in South Korea. For an account of how another “axis of evil” film, the Bond thriller, Die Another Day (2002), incited widespread protests in South Korea, see Hye Seung Chung, “From Die Another Day to ‘Another Day’: The South Korean Anti-007 Movement and Regional Nationalism in Post-Cold War Asia,” Hybrid Media, Ambivalent Feelings, ed. Hyung-Sook Lee, special issue of Spectator 27:2 (2007): 64-78.
16 Rottenberg, “Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Like That Kimg Jong Un Doesn’t Get the Joke”; William Boot, “”Exclusive: Sony Emails Say Studio Exec Picked Kim Jong-Un as the Villain of ‘The Interview,’” The Daily Beast, 18 December 2014.
17 On this point, William Blum writes: “Allen Weinstein, who helped draft legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in 1991: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’” See William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 2000), 180.
18 NED, “Statement of Principles and Objectives: Strengthening Democracy Abroad: The Role of the National Endowment for Democracy,” NED.
19 See Biddle, “Leaked Emails.”
20 Josh Eells, “Seth Rogen’s ‘Interview’: Inside the Film North Korea Really Doesn’t Want You to See,” Rolling Stone, 17 December 2014; Paul Bond, “Sony Hack: Activists to Drop ‘Interview’ DVDs over North Korea via Balloon,”The Hollywood Reporter, 16 December 2014; Katherine Phillips, “Activists to Send DVDs of ‘The Interview’ to North Korea by Balloon,” Newsweek, 17 December 2014 .
21 Barack Obama, “Remarks by President Obama to the Australian Parliament,” 17 November 2011.
22 Hillary Clinton, “America’s Pacific Century,” Foreign Policy, 11 October 2014.
23 Barbara Starr and Tom Cohen, “U.S. Reducing Rhetoric That Feeds North Korea’s Belligerence,” CNN 13 April 2013.
24 Department of Defense, News Release No. 208-13, 3 April 2013.
25 John J. Kruzel, “U.S. Prepares Missile Defense, Continues Shipping Interdictions,” U.S. Department of Defense, 18 June 2009.
26 “Department of Defense Announces Missile Deployment,” Press Release, Department of Defense, 3 April 2014.
27 Lolita Baldor and Matthew Lee, “US and Japan Revamp Defense Alliance to Counter North Korean Threat,” Business Insider, 3 October 2013.
28 Peter Symonds, “Obama’s ‘Playbook’ and the Threat of Nuclear War in Asia,” World Socialist Web Site, 5 April 2013.
29 Ibid.

30 Judy Kurtz, “FLASHBACK—Seth Rogen: No Regrets about Making ‘The Interview,’” the Hill, 17 December 2014.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood By Larry Chin Global Research, December 27, 2014 Url of this article:
Almost all wars begin with false flag operations. The coming conflicts in North Korea and Russia are no exception. Mass public hysteria is being manufactured to justify aggression against Moscow and Pyongyang, in retaliation for acts attributed to the North Korean and Russian governments, but orchestrated and carried out by the CIA and the Pentagon.
The false flagging of North Korea: CIA weaponizes Hollywood
The campaign of aggression against North Korea, from the hacking of Sony and the crescendo of noise over the film, The Interview, bears all the markings of a CIA false flag operation. The hacking and alleged threats to moviegoers have been blamed entirely on North Korea, without a shred of credible evidence beyond unsubstantiated accusations by the FBI. Pyongyang’s responsibility has not been proven. But it has already been officially endorsed, and publicly embraced as fact.
The idea of America under attack by North Korea is a lie. The actual individuals of the mysterious group responsible for the hacking remain conveniently unidentified. A multitude of possibilities—Sony insiders, hackers-for-hire, generic Internet
Vandalism—have not been explored in earnest. The more plausible involvement of US spying agencies—the CIA, the NSA, etc. , their overwhelming technological capability and their peerless hacking and surveillance powers—remains studiously ignored. Who benefits? It is illogical for Pyongyang to have done it. Isolated, impoverished North Korea, which has wanted improved relations with the United States for years (to no avail), gains nothing by cyber attacking the United States with its relatively weak capabilities, and face the certainty of  overwhelming cyber and military response. On the other hand, Washington benefits greatly from any action that leads to regime change in North Korea.
But discussion about Pyongyang’s involvement—or lack of—risks missing the larger point. This project, from the creation of The Interview to the well-orchestrated international incident, has been guided by the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department from the start. It is propaganda. It is a weapon of psychological warfare. It is an especially perverted example of military-intelligence manipulation of popular culture for the purpose of war.
There is nothing funny about any of it. The Interview was made with the direct and open involvement of CIA and Rand Corporation operatives for the express purpose of destabilizing North Korea. Star and co-director Seth Rogen has admitted that he worked directly with people who work in the government as consultants, who Im convinced are in the CIA. Originally conceived to be a plot taking place in an unnamed country, Sony Pictures co-chairman Michael Lynton, who also sits on the board of the Rand Corporation, encouraged the film makers to make the movie overtly about murdering Kim JongUn. Bruce Bennett, the Rand Corporations North Korean specialist, also had an active role, expressing enthusiasm that the film would assist regime change and spark South Korean action against Pyongyang. Other government figures from the State Department, even operatives connected to Hillary Clinton, read the script.
The infantile, imbecilic, tasteless, reckless idiots involved with The Interview, including the tasteless Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg, worked with these military-intelligence thugs for months. Hang out with them. They do not seem to have had any problem being the political whores for these Langley death merchants. In fact, they had fun doing it. They seem not to give a damn, or even half a damn, that the CIA and the Pentagon have used them, and co-opted the film for an agenda far bigger than the stupid movie itself. All they seem to care about was that they are getting publicity, and more publicity, and got to make a stupid movie. Idiots.
The CIA has now succeeded in setting off a wave of anti-North Korea war hysteria across America. Witness the ignorant squeals and cries from ignorant Americans about how we can’t let North Korea blackmail us; we can’t let Kim take away our free speech. Listen to the ridiculous debate over whether Sony has the courage to release the film to stand up to the evil North Koreans who would blackmail America and violate the rights of idiot filmgoers, who now see it as a patriotic duty to see the film.
These mental midgets—their worldviews shaped by the CIA culture ministry with its endorsed pro-war entertainment, violent video games, and gung-ho shoot em ups—are hopelessly brain curdled, irretrievably lost. Nihilistic and soulless, as well as stupid, most Americans have no problem seeing Kim Jong-Un killed, on screen or in reality. This slice of ugly America is the CIAs finest post-9/11 army: violent, hate-filled, easily manipulated, eager to obey steeples who march to whatever drumbeat they set.
And then there are the truly dumb, fools who are oblivious to most of reality, who would say hey lighten up, it’s only a comedy and its only a movie. Naïve, entitled, exceptionalist Americans think the business of the war—the murderous agenda they and their movie are helping the CIA carry out —is all just a game.
The CIAs business is death, and that there are actual assassination plans in the files of the CIA, targeting heads of state. Kim Jong-Un is undoubtedly on a real assassination list. This is no funny, either.
The real act of war the provocative, hostile diplomatic stance of the Obama administration speaks for itself. Washington wanted to spark an international incident. It wants regime change in Pyongyang, does not care what North Korea or China think, and does not fear anything North Korea will do about it. On the other hand, imagine if a film were about the assassination of Benjamin Netanyahu and the toppling of the government in Tel Aviv. Such a film, if it would ever be permitted even in script form, would be stopped cold. If it made it through censors that magically never slowed down. The Interview (and yes, there is censorship in America, a lot of it) Obama would personally fly to Tel Aviv to apologize. At the very least, Washington would issue statements distancing themselves from the film and its content.
Not so in the case of The Interview. Because American elites actually want the Kim family murdered. Despite providing no proof of North Korean involvement, President Barack Obama promised a proportional response. Promptly, North Koreas Internet was mysteriously shut down for a day. Unless one is naïve to believe in this coincidence, all signs point to US spy agencies (CIA, NSA, etc.) or hackers working on behalf of Washington and Langley.
Given the likelihood that North Korea had nothing to do with either the hacking of Sony, the initial pulling of the movie (a big part of the publicity stunt, that was not surprisingly reversed) or the blackmailing of moviegoers, the shutting down of North Koreas Internet was therefore a unilateral, unprovoked act of war. Washington has not officially taken responsibility. For reasons of plausible denial, it never will.
Perhaps it was a dry run, A message. The US got to test how easily it can take down North Koreas grid. As we witnessed, given overwhelming technological advantage, it was very easy. And when a war against Pyongyang begins in earnest, American forces will know exactly what they will do.
The US is flexing its Asia-Pacific muscles, sending a message not only to Pyongyang, but to China, a big future target. Some of the other muscle-flexing in recent months included the anti Beijing protests in Hong Kong (assisted by the CIA and the US State Department), ongoing provocations in the South China Sea over disputed oil, and new defense agreements that place new anti-missile systems and missile-guided naval vessels to the region.
The bottom line is that America has once again been mobilized into supporting a new war that could take place soon. The CIA and Sony have successfully weaponized a stupid movie, making it into a cause and a battle cry. If and when bombs fall on North Korea, blood will be on the hands of the makers of The Interview, every single executive who allowed it to be made, and the hordes who paid to see it.
If America were a decent, sane society, The Interview would be exposed, roundly denounced, boycotted and shunned. Instead it is celebrated. The CIA should be condemned. Instead, Seth Rogen hangs out with them. America, increasingly dysfunctional, loves them, obeys them.
The false flagging of Russia
Regarding The Interview, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement in sympathy with North Korea, correctly calling the films concept aggressive and scandalous, and decried the US retaliatory response as counterproductive and dangerous to international relations. Of course. Washington has no interest in improved international relations.
The Russians should know. Like Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin has been vilified, demonized and false-flagged, incessantly. If Kim is todays object of ridicule, Putin is Evil Incarnate. Consider the hysterical, desperate provocations by Washington in recent months.
A US-NATO coup, engineered by the CIA, toppled the government of Ukraine, planting a pro US neo-Nazi criminal apparatus on Russias doorstep. The CIA and its worldwide network of propagandists pinned the blame on Putin and Russia for aggression, and for obstructing democracy.
The MH-17 jetliner is downed by Ukrainian operatives, with the support of the CIA, Mi-6, etc. etc. This false flag operation was blamed on Russia— Putins Missile. The US and NATO are still trying to pin these murders on Putin. The war against the Islamic State—a massive CIA false flag operation—seeks to topple with the the Assad government as well as to militarily counter Russia. The ongoing Anglo-American conquest of regional oil and gas supplies, and energy transport routes is also aimed at checkmating Russia and China across the region.
The US and NATO have attacked the Russian federation with sanctions. The US and Saudi Arabia have collapsed oil prices, to further destroy the Russian economy. Full-scale military escalations are being planned. The US Congress is pushing new legislation tantamount to an open declaration of war against Russia.
What next? Perhaps it is time for the CIA to produce a Seth Rogen-James Franco movie about assassinating Putin. Another parody, Or how about a movie about killing Assad, or anyone else the United States wants to make into a Public Enemy? Don’t think Langley isn’t working on it.
The return of the Bushes (who were never gone) In the midst of all escalating war hysteria comes news that Jeb Bush is actively exploring running for president in 2016. The long predicted return of the Bush family, the kings of terrorism, the emperors of the false flag operation, back to the White House appears imminent.
The CIA will have its favorite family back in the Oval Office, with true CIA scion to manage the apocalyptic wars are likely to be launched in earnest in the next two years: Russia/Ukraine, North Korea, the Middle East.
Jeb Bush will finish the job.
The 2016 presidential contest will be a charade. It is likely to put forth two corrupt establishment political friends posing as adversaries, when in fact; they are longtime comrades and conspirators. On one side, Hillary (and Bill) Clinton,  On the other side, Jeb Bush, with George H.W., George W. and all of the Bush cronies crawling back out of the rotten woodwork. The fact is that the Clintons and Bushes, and their intertwined networks, have run the country since the 1980s, their respective camps taking turns in power, with Obama as transitional figurehead (his administration has always been run by neoliberal elites connected to the Clintonistas, including Hillary Clinton herself).
The collective history of the Bushes stretches back to the very founding of the American intelligence state. It is the very history of modern war criminality. The resume is George H.W. Bush—the CIA operative and CIA Director—is long and bloody, and littered with cocaine dust. The entire Bush family ran the Iran-Contra/CIA drug apparatus, with the Clintons among the Bush networks full partners in the massive drug/weapons/banking frauds of that era, the effects of which still resonate today. And we need not remind that the Bush clan and 9/11 are responsible for the world of terror and false flag foreign policy and deception that we suffer today.
While it remains too early to know which way the Establishment will go with their selection (and it depends on how world war shakes out between now and 2016), it is highly likely that Jeb Bush would be the pick. Hillary Clinton has already been scandalized—Benghazi-ed. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has ideal Establishment/CIA pedigree. He has waited years for the stupid American public to forget the horrors that his family—Georges H.W. and W.— brought humanity. And now Americans, with their ultra-short memories, have indeed forgotten, if they had ever understood it in the first place.
And the American public does not know who Jeb Bush is, beyond the last name. Jeb Bush, whom Barbara Bush always said was the smart one, has been involved in Bush narco-criminal business since Iran-Contra. His criminal activities in Florida, his connection with anti-Castro Cuban terrorists and other connections are there, for those who bother to investigate them. His Latin American connections—including his ability to speak fluent Spanish, a Latin wife and a half-Latin son (George P. Bush, the next up and coming political Bush)—conveniently appeals to the fastest-growing demographic, as well as those in the southern hemisphere drug trade. Recent Obama overtures towards the Latino demographic—immigration, Cuba—appear to be a Democratic Party move to counter Jeb Bushs known strengths in the same demographic.

Today, in the collective American mind, Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin are the bad guys. But the mass murdering war criminal Bushes are saints. Nice guys. A Jeb Bush presidency will be a pure war presidency, one that promises terror, more unspeakable than we are experiencing now, lording it over a world engulfed in holocaust. This is not a movie.
Kim Jong Un Visits Pyongyang Catfish Farm
Pyongyang, December 23 (KCNA) -- Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, gave field guidance to the Pyongyang Catfish Farm.
He looked round the monument to the great Generalissimo Kim Jong Il's field guidance to the farm and learned in detail about how the farm has carried out his behests.
The farm is a patriotic legacy left by the Generalissimo as he chose a good site for it and named it "Pyongyang Catfish Farm" when its construction was completed, he said.
He recalled that Kim Jong Il went round production processes for hours and gave precious instructions for developing the pisciculture in a Korean way during his visit to the farm in September 2009, saying that the farm is a major base of supply service for Pyongyangites.
Our country has solid foundations for pisciculture built thanks to the energetic leadership of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il, he said, stressing that in order to make fish-breeding bases, built with much effort, pay off substantially, it is important to accept the Party's policy of developing the pisciculture with heart and push forward this work perseveringly.
The Pyongyang Catfish Farm should actively contribute to making the hot wind of pisciculture prevail in the country by bringing about a great innovation in fish farming, he said, adding: Then it can be a people's favorite farm as desired by Kim Jong Il.
And he said that a mosaic depicting smiling Kim Jong Il should be erected in the compound of the farm to convey the undying exploits he performed to make a new history of catfish farming in the country.
Then, he went round the combined production control room, spawning ground and indoor and outdoor ponds of the farm to learn about its production and advanced tasks to be carried out by the farm.
He referred in detail to the problems arising in production and management such as matters of giving play to the mental power of employees and improving their living conditions, perfectly establishing the integrated production system, building up the scientific and technical forces, intensifying the technical study among employees, exchanging among different units the good experience gained in pisciculture and enhancing the role of scientific research field.
It is the Party's will to turn the Pyongyang Catfish Farm into a model and standard farm for the pisciculture field of the country, he said, adding he would dispatch competent designing and construction forces for its modernization.
Saying that the Party's expectation for the farm is very great, he expressed belief that its officials and employees would lead the country in catfish farming.
He was accompanied by Secretary Choe Ryong Hae, Department Director An Jong Su and First Vice Department Director Ri Jae Il of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

KSDP Spokesman Raps S. Korean Puppet Group's Forcible Disbanding of UPP
Pyongyang, December 23 (KCNA) -- The spokesman for the Korean Social Democratic Party (KSDP) released a statement on Tuesday denouncing the south Korean puppet group for disbanding the Unified Progressive Party (UPP).
Terming the puppet group's action thrice-cursed politically-motivated terrorism against democracy and human rights, an unprecedented heinous act of stamping out the progressive, democratic, reform-minded forces making efforts to bring new politics and life and achieve independent reunification, the statement went on:
What should not be overlooked is the fact that the puppet conservative group is deliberately linking the programme and activities of the UPP to the DPRK in a foolish bid to escape the strong public protest and denunciation of it.
Whenever they faced a ruling crisis, the past conservative ruling forces created a terror-ridden atmosphere in the south Korean society by suppressing and killing those of the political parties and personages who struggled for independence, democracy, reunification and patriotism after labeling them "spies of the north."
This was a trite method employed by them.
The present chief executive of south Korea, daughter of the "yusin" dictator, is following in the footsteps of her father and putting the preceding dictators into the shade in barbarity, viciousness and baseness.
It is as clear as a pikestaff that the fascist repressive racket kicked off by her with the UPP's case as a prelude will suppress other political parties and organizations at the point of bayonets of fascist dictators by branding them as "followers of the north" in the future.
As long as such a fascist group as the present south Korean ruling forces is allowed to go scot-free, there will be no independence, democracy, freedom and human rights in the south Korean society but it will only bring confrontation and war disaster to Koreans.
The Korean Social Democratic Party, together with other progressive parties in the world setting store by justice and truth, will never pardon thrice-cursed fascist terrorism of the Park Geun Hye group which forcibly disbanded the UPP.
All Koreans will sternly punish the conservative group seeking to prolong its remaining days by enforcing "yusin" dictatorship against the trend of times and public mindset.

Kim Jong Un Visits Kumsusan Palace of Sun
Pyongyang, December 24 (KCNA) -- Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on Wednesday, the 23rd anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il's assumption of KPA supreme commandership.
He entered the hall where the statues of the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are standing.
The head of the guard of honor of the KPA Ground, Naval, Air and Anti-Air Forces and the Worker-Peasant Red Guards made a salute towards the statues.
Placed at the statues were a floral basket in the name of Kim Jong Un and a floral basket in the name of the KPA.
Kim Jong Un, together with other visitors, paid a high tribute to the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
Then he entered the hall of immortality where Generalissimo Kim Jong Il lies in state. He, together with other visitors, made bow to the Generalissimo in the humblest reverence.
He went round halls that house train coaches and cars used by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in their lifetime, the mourning hall, the room where the orders Kim Jong Il received are on display and the halls that house an electric car and a boat he used in his lifetime.
He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Hyon Yong Chol, Ri Yong Gil, Kim Won Hong, Kim Jong Gak, So Hong Chan, Pak Yong Sik, Ryom Chol Song and other KPA commanding officers and commanding officers of all services and units of corps level of the KPA.

Forcible Disbandment of Legitimate Political Party Denounced
Pyongyang, December 22 (KCNA) -- The south Korean puppet forces committed such a fascist act of forcibly disbanding the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) and depriving lawmakers from the party of their membership as "National Assemblymen".
A spokesman for the Democratic Lawyers Association of Korea in a statement Monday branded the puppet authorities' act of disbanding the party by deliberately linking its programme with the DPRK and terming the party "a political party violating constitution through pursuance to the north" as a wanton violation of democracy and human rights and an unprecedented politically-motivated terrorist act.
The Democratic Lawyers Association of Korea branded the Park Geun Hye group's act of forcibly disbanding the UPP as an unwarranted fascist one that totally denies the elementary requirements in the light of law and an outrageous, mediaeval and tyrannical act that crudely violates the freedom of expression and assembly to turn south Korea into a political hell, the spokesman said, and went on:
It is not the dark era of the last century when anti-communist McCarthyism prevailed and strong wind of fascism raged. But the legitimate political party was disbanded in the 21st century, a crime against humanity that runs diametrically counter to the trend of the times and the universal rights of humankind.
It is the height of shamelessness that the fascist tyrants and biggest human rights abusers who wantonly violate elementary political freedom and democratic rights of human being are raising a hue and cry over the "human rights issue" of the north.
Moreover, the present south Korean chief executive praised the recent fascist act as a "historical decision." This proves that Park Geun Hye has been behind it and she tries to revive the departed soul of "yusin" dictatorship.
The puppet conservative group's act of disbanding the UPP at the point of bayonets is aimed to wipe out the progressive democratic forces and put down the struggle of opposition parties through the wind of the "forces following the north" to prevent it from seizing power again. It is also aimed to calm down the public criticism focused on it due to the case of Jong Yun Hoe's interference in state affairs and thus tide over the ruling crisis.
It is clear that south Korea will turn into the tundra of human rights and democracy and that all political parties and organizations whom the group of traitors is displeased with will be subject to fascist suppression as long as those fascist hooligans seized by the ambition of long-term office and confrontation with fellow countrymen are left as they are.
The historical lesson proves that those who prolong their remaining days through fascist misrule will meet only ruin.

CPRK Secretariat Blasts S. Korean Puppet Authorities for Disbanding UPP
Pyongyang, December 20 (KCNA) -- The puppet south Korean authorities Friday let the "constitutional court" forcibly disband the Unified Progressive Party (UPP), a legitimate progressive party, and deprive five lawmakers from the party of their membership as the "National Assemblymen".
The fascist authorities made the decision on the dissolution in just thirty minutes, charging that the programme of the party is just like the "Juche idea and Juche concept of the north" and the "north's revolutionary strategy toward the south", and that its objective and activities are aimed to "realize progressive democracy by violence and to build socialism the way the north did in the end".
The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) in information bulletin No. 1082 Saturday said the forcible disbandment of the legitimate political party as part of violence of elementary political freedom and democratic right in south Korea is a crime against humanity and a hideous and crucial case that blatantly challenges human civilization and universal human rights.
The puppet forces fully revealed their true colors and barbarity as the kingpin of human rights abuses and a rare fascist tyrant through the recent act, the information bulletin said, and went on:
The recent act means a crude violation of democracy in south Korea as it will bring to naught the fruit of democratization which the south Koreans have won with much efforts.
The Park Geun Hye group's tyrannical act is pursuant to its sinister intention to revenge the shame and insult it sustained from the Unified Progressive Party during the past "presidential election", highlight the "coloring of those following the north" and thus wipe out pro-reunification patriotic forces and prevent the opposition party from coming to power. It is also aimed to divert elsewhere the public attention focused on the "government" following the case of Jong Yun Hoe's interference in the state affairs and thus tide over the serious ruling crisis.
It is clear that the sword of fascism that disbanded the Unified Progressive Party will mangle other progressive political parties and turn the whole of south Korea into a tundra of democracy and human rights.
It is the height of impudence for the violators of democracy and human rights to take issue with others over "human rights" and "democracy."
The present puppet conservative forces obsessed by fascism and confrontation with fellow countrymen will only cause the disaster of war, far from helping win independence, democracy and human rights in south Korea and reunification of the country.

Kim Jong Un As Seen by the World
Three years have passed since Kim Jong Un, supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was appointed the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) on December 30, 2011.
Three years are not a long period, but the world saw in him the image of an outstanding military commander, who has consolidated the military strength of his country steel-strong and thus defended the peace and security of his country and fellow people and of the region surrounding the Korean peninsula.
On January 1, two days after being appointed the Supreme Commander of the KPA, he inspected the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su Guards 105th Tank Division. He then inspected many KPA units and subunits, including those on the frontline, guiding the drills of the soldiers at firing positions, windy runways and once on a sailing torpedo boat, instilling in them ever-victorious courage and confidence and teaching them operational tactics so as to frustrate the threat and challenges of the US-led allied imperialist forces.
Well-versed in the cutting-edge military science and technology and in military hardware, he has taken new measures aimed at developing the defence industry. True to his intention, the March 2013 Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) advanced the line of building up the economy and nuclear forces in parallel, and the Seventh Session of the Twelfth Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK proved a legal guarantee for the country as a nuclear and space power. These measures remarkably increased the DPRK’s war deterrent, making no other country dare to attack it.
In the course of frustrating the enemy’s reckless nuclear threat and blackmail and war moves, he has demonstrated the matchless mettle and courage becoming an iron-willed, brilliant commander.
In August 2012, when the US was going to stage the largest-ever Ulji Freedom Guardian war game in south Korea by enlisting even its vassal states, Kim Jong Un went aboard a 27hp vessel to the KPA units defending the islands on the hottest point in the southernmost region of the southwestern front to inspect them. The fact that he made his appearance on a small wooden boat in front of the enemy equipped with large-sized vessels, aircraft, state-of-the-art firepower equipment and high-precision monitoring facilities startled the world community. It was an acme of the display of mettle and courage that could not be found in the biography of any military commander. That day he ordered that, if the enemy was bold enough to drop a single shell into the waters or the area within the reach of the DPRK’s sovereignty, the KPA soldiers must not restrict it to a local war on the southwestern front but lead it to a sacred war for national reunification, and if the aggressors launched a war, they must make the West Sea the final grave of the enemy.
Over the past three years the world saw in him the image of a benevolent commander who ardently loves the soldiers and turns the entire army into the ranks of comrades-in-arms based on warm comradeship.
He has ensured that the political work of the KPA is conducted with the main emphasis put on consolidating the single-hearted unity, the integral whole, of the entire army true to the slogan “Let the entire army become ranks of true comrades-in-arms!”
Saying that it is his determination and will to share life and death with the soldiers at posts and devote his all for their sake, he showers them with maternal affection; whenever he inspects army units, he looks round the bedrooms, mess halls, subsidiary food stores, wash rooms and sideline farming bases, acquainting himself with their living conditions; he asks the officers to look after the rank and file as they would do their kith and kin, always remembering that they exist for the latter and that the latter do not exist for them, so that they can serve in the army in good health and full of optimism.
He once sent a gift to an officer’s son, who was greeting his first birthday. At another time he posed for a souvenir photograph with scores of soldiers one by one during a visit to their unit.
When some soldiers on a combat mission died unexpectedly, he burned midnight oil, looking at their photos one by one, and while looking round the tomb of these fallen soldiers, he ensured that his name was inscribed on the tombstone, saying that he would become the owner of the tomb.
Moved by his ennobling affection and sense of obligation, all the soldiers have formed ranks of comrades-in-arms, who, hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder with their Supreme Commander, share ideas and intentions with him and be in step with him.
Over the past three years the world also saw in him the image of a peerless military commander who works world-startling miracles and innovations in economic construction as well as in defending the country by raising the status of the army to that of vanguard. Having initiated building a world-class ski resort on Masik Pass, he entrusted the task to the soldiers and led them to finish the project, which others had said would take more than ten years, in a little over one year. And he has ensured that the whole country learn after the “Masikryong speed,” which the soldier-builders created, so as to bring about continuous leaps and innovations in the overall building of a thriving socialist country. He also gave them the task of building apartment houses for the educationists at Kim Il Sung University and Kim Chaek University of Technology, Pyongyang Baby Home and Orphanage, Unha Scientists Street, Wisong Scientists Dwelling District and so on, and frequently visited their construction sites, leading the soldier-builders to build the monumental structures for people in an excellent way.
Under his leadership they not only finished these projects but built many other structures on the world standards, like the Mirim Riding Club, Munsu Water Park, Songdowon International Children’s Camp, Okryu Children’s Hospital and Ryugyong Dental Hospital for people’s welfare.
In the future, the world will see other images of Kim Jong Un who will achieve one success after another in defending socialism and building a thriving country by relying on the powerful military capability of his country.

DPRK’s Socialist Constitution
The socialist constitution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was adopted on December 27, 1972.
The Korean people significantly celebrate this day as the Socialist Constitution Day every year.
The socialist constitution defines that the state is guided by the Juche idea and the Songun idea in its activities.
The Juche idea and the Songun idea authored by President Kim Il Sung, the founder of the DPRK and founding father of socialist Korea, and developed in depth by Chairman Kim Jong Il of the DPRK National Defence Commission are the ideological and theoretical banners for achieving the independence of the masses of the people. Advocating that man is the master of the world and of his own destiny and has the power to transform nature and society and shape his destiny, the Juche idea regards it as its fundamental principle to realize the independence of the masses of the people. The basic objective of the Songun idea which has taken its root in the Juche idea is to defend the independence of the masses from the challenge and threat of imperialists and dominationists. The embodiment of the Songun idea in reality is just Songun politics.
The constitution radically enhances the authority of the National Defence Commission in state mechanism in keeping with the actual reality of Korea in which Songun politics is being administered in an all-round way and with the requirements of the times. The constitution provides the Korean people with a firm legal guarantee for staunchly defending by force of arms the people-centred socialist system in any adversity and triumphantly advancing the cause of building a thriving socialist nation.
Based on the Juche idea and the Songun idea, the constitution stipulates that the DPRK’s is a people-centred social system under which the working people are the masters of everything and everything in society serves them. The state champions the interests of the working people, who have been freed from exploitation and oppression and become the masters of the state and society, and respects and protects their rights.
The constitution stipulates: “The sovereignty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea resides in the workers, peasants, soldiers, working intellectuals and all other working people. The working people exercise State power through their representative organs–the Supreme People’s Assembly and local People’s Assemblies at all levels.”
10.9 per cent of the deputies elected to the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly are workers, 10.1 per cent farmers, 16.9 per cent service personnel, 15.6 per cent women and 90.4 per cent academic degree or title holders, scientists, technicians and specialists. These figures clearly show on how high level the people take part in the state governance. The same holds true of the local power organs at all levels such as the provincial, city and county People’s Assemblies.
It is natural that the state power organs in the hands of the working people should carry on the genuine people-oriented legislation activities for defending and realizing the people’s interests.
The socialist constitution defines that the steady improvement of the people’s material and cultural life is regarded as the supreme principle of the state activities.
The DPRK is a tax-free country. In this country where the socio-economic sources of exploitation and poverty were completely eliminated and all kinds of taxes were abolished, the increasing material wealth of society are used entirely for the well-being of the working people, the masters of state power and means of production.
Actually, the DPRK defends and protects the independent demand and interests of the working masses and provides them with all living conditions ranging from food, clothing and housing, with a mission as the master responsible for the livelihoods of the people.
   All the members of society are equally provided with all rights as social beings, including political freedom and rights, free education and free medical care.
According to the socialist constitution, all citizens who have reached the age of 17 have the right to elect and to be elected, irrespective of sex, race, occupation, and length of residence, property status, education, party affiliation, political views or religion. Besides, citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, the press, assembly, demonstration and association and the state provides democratic political parties and social organizations with conditions for free activity. Citizens have the freedom of religious beliefs. This right is granted by approving the construction of religious buildings and the holding of religious ceremonies.
The state provides educations to all students free of charge and grants stipend to students of universities and colleges. It also intensifies social education and provides the working people with all conditions for study. It brings up all children of preschool age in nurseries and kindergartens at state and public expenses. Along with this, it protects the people’s lives and promotes their health by consolidating and developing the system of universal free-medical care service, improving the section doctor system and implementing the policy of preventive medicine.
The state legally guarantees all the citizens’ right to work and relaxation. All able-bodied citizens choose occupations in accordance with their wishes and skills and the state provides them with stable jobs and working conditions. This right is ensured by the establishment of the working hours, the provision of holidays, paid leave, accommodation at health resorts and holiday homes at state expense and by a growing network of cultural facilities.
The DPRK’s socialist constitution that has emerged as the constitution of the people-centred socialist country is a political charter that legally consolidates all victories and achievements the Korean people have made in the revolution and construction under the banner of the Juche idea and that defines various principles to be maintained in all the fields of state and social life, including politics, the economy, culture and national defence as well as the important tasks arising in socialist construction.
Enjoying the people’s absolute support for the past four decades as a law of the people themselves, the socialist constitution has given a powerful stimulus to the revolution and construction.

Kim Jong Un Meets Participants in Meeting of KPA Logistic Personnel
Pyongyang, December 25 (KCNA) -- Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), had a photo session with the participants in the second meeting of KPA logistic personnel.
Kim Jong Un extended warm congratulations in the name of the KPA supreme commander to the participants who made signal achievements in the supply service, saying: The party and the country and its people always remember the efforts of the logistic personnel, who have devotedly worked for the servicepersons invariably in rain or shine, sharing the will and purpose with their supreme commander.
The second meeting of KPA logistic personnel marks an epochal turn as it provided an important landmark for defending and further glorifying the undying feats President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il performed in the field of supply service for the people's army and improving the supply service in conformity with the party's intention and demand, he said before having a photo session with its participants.
Saying that the party's trust and expectation in the logistic personnel are very great, he expressed belief that they would make a significant contribution to providing the soldiers with better living conditions as soon as possible.
Attending the session were Hwang Pyong So, Hyon Yong Chol, Ri Yong Gil, Kim Jong Gak, So Hong Chan, Pak Yong Sik, Ryom Chol Song and Jo Kyong Chol.

Kim Jong Un Visits June 8 Farm of KPA
Pyongyang, December 26 (KCNA) -- Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), gave field guidance to the newly-built vegetable greenhouses at the June 8 Farm of the KPA.
He was very pleased to see the greenhouses in rows, saying that they were built neatly and they look like a picture.
Going round different parts of the greenhouses, he acquainted himself in detail with their construction and vegetable growing.
The greenhouses, built in a hill-area to make better use of land, are spectacular when they are looked up or down, he said.
They are flawless in every aspect, he said, adding: It is important to build a greenhouse well but more important is to do farming well there so that the servicepersons can get a great benefit from it.
In order to ensure the effective greenhouse farming, it is necessary to pay attention to the work for raising the responsibility and technical knowledge of farmers, he said, stressing the need to actively introduce advanced farming methods in cooperation with vegetable science institutes so as to put the scientific and intensification of greenhouse farming on a higher level.
Efforts should be directed to the scientific and technological distribution to fan up the flame of collective innovation in the supply service of the people's army, he said, giving an instruction to found a monthly magazine that explains about the Party's policy related to the supply service and indicates tasks and ways for its implementation and introduces advanced science and technology and good experiences.
He gave thanks of the supreme commander to the units involved in the construction of vegetable greenhouses.
He said: The vegetable greenhouses newly built at the June 8 Farm well shows how the People's Army approaches and implements the Party's policy. The army makes it an inveterate habit to carry out any order, policy and instruction of the Party at once and perfectly and report about the results. This is just the revolutionary soldier spirit.
Terming the vegetable greenhouses of the June 8 Farm a standard and model one, he called for conducting a vigorous drive to supply fresh vegetable to the people in all seasons by making the example of the KPA spread across the country like wildfire.
He was accompanied by Hwang Pyong So, Hyon Yong Chol, Pak Yong Sik, Han Kwang Sang and Ri Jae Il.