The Korean Central News agency, North Korea's official news provider that acts as Pyongyang's official mouthpiece, has began covering the Occupy Wall Street protesters like the rest of the world. However, the surprising part is the agency -- known for sometimes presenting outrageous information as facts and promoting the regime's propaganda-speak -- has actually presented a reasonable account of the movement.
Decrying the actions and attitudes of the United States and other capitalist countries is a recurring theme in the agency's news reports, often going as far as including personal insults. After Hillary Clinton compared North Korea's regime to small children who are desperate for attention in 2009, the Korean Central News Agency issued a response saying that sometimes [Clinton] looks like a primary school girl and at others, a pensioner going shopping.
The agency's press release regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement is tame, probably because the protests largely reflect the anti-capitalist attitude that North Korea has advocated since its founding.
While the press release certainly has some editorialized touches -- for instance, saying the protests are shaking all fabrics of society in the U.S. -- it is essentially a straight report of the nationwide protests and its purpose, which the agency wrote is an expression of the grievances against the mounting social contradiction resulting from the worsening unemployment and widening gap between the poor and the rich due to the serious economic crisis.
North Korea's willingness to describe American uprisings is also interesting since the country attempted to suppress any news of the Arab Spring revolts from reaching the public, fearing massive demonstrations.
The South Korean military reportedly air-dropped leaflets describing the protests in Egypt and Libya in North Korea earlier this year, leading North Korea to threaten military action if its neighbors continued dropping the fliers, the Korean Central News Agency reported.
In February, the South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reported there have been small pockets of resistance in North Korea, although the protests were largely motivated by shortages in essential resources such as food and electricity instead of a desire to overthrow the regime.
Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have died since the 1990s due to widespread famine and food shortages, according to Amnesty International. Income inequality is also rampant in the two-tiered nation. Members of the nation's Workers Party of Korea, including military officers, government officials and their families, typically live in the showcase capital Pyongyang and receive first dibs on food rations and other supplies. Meanwhile, a majority of the country's residents live outside of the capital and often must forage for food and other necessities in order to survive.
Here is the full press release:
U.S. Swept by Waves of Protest Demos
Pyongyang, October 8 (KCNA) -- Unprecedented demos are taking place in the United States these days in protest against exploitation and oppression by capital, shaking all fabrics of society.
The first demo kicked off in Wall Street on Sept. 17. It has been going on for three consecutive weeks.
The demonstrators put up slogan Let's Occupy Wall Street.
Young Americans formed a mainstream of the ranks of demonstrators at first. But they were joined by people from all walks of life who varied in their ages including day laborers, poor and unemployed Americans as well as employees of companies and housewives.
Their actions included marches, sit-in strikes, occupation of bridges and various other forms of protests and non-stop protests at night.
These actions spilled over to different parts of the U.S. including Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco all of a sudden.
It was reported that organizations were inaugurated in 146 cities of 46 states and the capital city as of Tuesday to supervise demos.
The waves of demo which swept the U.S. recently is an expression of the grievances against the mounting social contradiction resulting from the worsening unemployment and the widening gap between the poor and the rich due to the serious economic crisis.
It also reflects the public opinion critical of the authorities and the exploiting classes who drove the country into such serious phase.
Foreign media predict that demos will go on and spill over to large-scale protests and create something unprecedented in the future.
Such protests as what is happening in the U.S. are expected to take place in other capitalist countries.
It was reported that slogan Let's Occupy Melbourne! has already appeared in Australia and Let's Occupy Toronto Stock Market! in Canada and organizations were formed in Japan, Germany and other countries to stage demos under the slogan Let's Occupy!
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...