While some sections of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry and various Friendship associations were in middle of a major operation to woo foreign audiences via wrestling, Kim Jong-un was tending to the military. More to the point, his National Defence Commission was hammering out a very angry salvo threatening Britain. As there is no permanent hyperlink to the text of the threatening missive yet, I’ll paste it all in below. For background on the issue, see Channel 4’s own press release about the show (presumably read by someone on the NDC with Internet access, the trigger for the outburst) and this AFP story.
I’ll have more writing later about cultural exchange between Britain and the DPRK, since presumably the NDC is at the apex of all bureaucracies in North Korea, and their threat would ostensibly have some negative impact in the realm of soft power and regular exchanges. At least the missive ends with a minor paean to “hard-won relations” between Great Britain and the DPRK.
Hopefully the North Korean Ambassador in London isn’t being tasked with having to personally fluster British TV bureaucrats, as I would assume he has a few other more important and tangible items on his plate at present. And goodness knows the DPRK leadership is nervous (or at the very least needing to prepare) for an assault on its human rights record at the United Nations this autumn, of which the UK is no small part. Well.
Sometimes you think that the North Korean leadership has a carefully calculated master plan, and other times it just feels like they are improvising and lashing out just to buy space and time while an actual strategy is formulated. UK-North Korea relations are bigger and more robust than one movie script alone can torch, but a missive like this cannot be seen as anything other than a shot across London’s bow, and thus needs to be taken into account:
British Plan for Producing Anti-DPRK Movie Under Fire
Pyongyang, August 31 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Policy Department of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK issued the following statement on Sunday:
Recently the British 4th TV channel producers openly made public a plan for producing and airing a serial TV drama-style movie malignantly slandering the DPRK.
The movie is nothing but a conspiratorial charade painting a wrong picture of the DPRK’s reality as it is based on a sheer lie intended to give impression that the DPRK’s nuclear treasured sword for self-defence was manufactured by “illegally acquiring” nuclear technology from Britain.
The broadcasting service is blustering without hesitation that the purpose of the movie is to tell the world that the DPRK is the “most closed country on the earth” and the “biggest threat” to the Western world.
No matter how desperately the producers of the above-said TV channel, hooligans and rogues under the guise of artistes, may work to falsify the reality, they can never hide the truth.
The DPRK’s nuclear treasured sword for self-defence is the proud fruition of the defense industry in the era of Songun based on its own efforts, technology and resources from A to Z.
The Juche-oriented nuclear power of the DPRK which is on the ultra-modern world level is so powerful and tremendous that no one can imagine.
The U.S., a master hand at plots and fabrications, dares not deny this hard fact.
Those who are talking about “illegal acquisition of nuclear technology” are no more than blind fools and idiots bereft of even elementary ability to discern the truth.
The gravity of the situation lies in that this despicable burlesque is being orchestrated at the tacit connivance, patronage and instigation by “Downing Street”.
This mud-slinging is a premeditated politically-motivated provocation and deliberate hostile act to hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership and tarnish the sovereign authority of the DPRK and its international image.
It is not exaggeration to say that Britain is the country with inborn disposition of blindly copying the American-style diplomacy.
This is evidenced by the fact that when a movie company of Hollywood distributed a preview of a reactionary movie peppered with the story hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK after producing it, the British broadcasting service deliberately used it for staging such charade.
The British authorities should not forget even a moment the lesson drawn from the incident in which that it was sentenced to permanent death because of “poems of evil” which groundlessly slandered a country in the Mideast in the past.
Reckless anti-DPRK hysteria would only bring disgrace and self-destruction.
The British authorities should throw reactionary movies now being planned or in the process of production into a dumping ground without delay and punish the chief culprits.
This would help prevent any hurt to the image of the UK and preserve the hard-won diplomatic relations between the DPRK and Britain.
It would be well advised to judge itself what consequences would be entailed if it ignores the DPRK’s warning.