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Propaganda coup

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:02
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Strange how the North Korean Winter Olympics propaganda coup arose. From the BBC.

How big a propaganda coup has the North scored?

Ms Kim and Mr Kim Yong-nam made up the most senior delegation from the North to visit the South since the Korean War in the 1950s.

The two states have never signed a peace treaty and are in a constant state of mutual distrust.

On Saturday, Ms Kim handed over a letter from her brother to President Moon, inviting him to visit Pyongyang. If the summit goes ahead, it will be the first meeting in more than a decade between Korean leaders.

For those of an entrenched anti-Trump persuasion it would be gall and wormwood to admit any connection between Donald Trumps’s hard line on North Korea and this apparently unexpected development. In which case the only viable alternative to a Trump link is to play it as an outreach coup orchestrated by those masters of the positive image, the North Korean government. Maybe it was simply bad luck that the move was not made during Obama’s reign. Or maybe it wasn’t.

Unfortunately for the triumphant coup narrative there are a number problems in playing events this way. For one thing it can become nauseating. This for example.

The regime’s human face

By Laura Bicker, BBC News, Pyeongchang, South Korea

You could almost feel the ripple of excitement as Kim Yo-jong walked into the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games. Necks craned and mobile phones were held aloft to catch a glimpse.

I found myself, along with others, leaning as far as I could over the balcony to try to see her in the VIP box below. The faces around the stadium all said one thing: she’s here, on South Korean soil.

She has given the secretive regime a human face.

Obviously Ms Kim cannot be referred to as the mass murderer’s sister but perhaps these little foibles are excused by the higher goal of never letting up on the anti-Trump narrative. No doubt it would have been better if Ms Kim had been as photogenic as other members of Team Coup but every cake can’t have its share of icing.

However, the whole business is certainly more enjoyable than the “sport”. As with the Oxfam debacle, it is revealing and revealing is good. It feels good too. 


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