Earlier this season, we had the UN Development Program featuring a colorful photo of singing young acolytes of Kim Jong Il on the cover of a UNDP anti-corruption media fellowship brochure. Now, in similar vein, we have UNICEF claiming in a press release that North Korea “faces potential food crisis due to last year’s flooding.”
What’s wrong with that statement? Well, it’s a piece of propaganda quite likely more deliberate and in many ways far worse than the UNDP’s Orwellian advertising of the singing young pioneers of Pyongyang.
North Korea’s food crises — past, present and imminent — are not due to flooding. Neither are they due to global warming, global cooling, or the phases of the moon, all of which seem to have effects suddenly far less lethal as soon as the forces of Mother Nature cross the DMZ into South Korea. The true cause of North Korea’s impending food shortage, as well as the annual food shortages for the past half dozen years, plus the brutal famine of the half dozen years prior to that, is, was and will be the tyrannical policies of the Kim Jong Il regime. If UNICEF wants to alert us to the agonies of North Korea, how about a standard of truth-in-advertising that rises at least slightly above the level of Kim’s own propaganda?
Instead of covering for Kim, what UNICEF ought to be telling us is that North Korea, as usual, “faces potential food crisis due to murderous, wasteful, degrading, abusive tyranny of Kim Jong Il’s regime.”