What It’s Like To Run A North Korea News Website

These bizarre messages we keep receiving should give you some idea:
March 21st, 2013
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Illustration by NK NEWS illustrator Cammy Smithwick

Despite being staffed by writers mainly from Europe and North America, at NK NEWS we have been increasingly receiving correspondence from readers who believe the site is an official arm of the North Korean government, run from Pyongyang.

Recent months have been particularly colorful. The more North Korea issues threats, tests nuclear devices or launches rockets, the more we receive ridiculous messages from ridiculous people. Ranging from death threats aimed at our staff, to gift suggestion requests for the DPRK leadership, these messages provide a unique insight into the daily life of running a North Korea news website.

Two years ago we published an almost absurd exchange with an Israeli company looking to buy North Korean weapons via NK NEWS, but given the latest surge in wacky correspondence, we thought it was time to share more of it with you:

CAUTION: READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED


The Top Five Emails

1. Jonatha John <yonni***[email protected]> Mar 19

Hello, thanks for the news about the baby girl born to Kim Jong Un and his wife. I would like to send them a small gift for a baby girl. Can you give me the information needed to send such a gift? Thank you very much. I believe in your work of providing information about North Korea and South Korea, but sometimes your writers are too sarcastic. Increasing suspicion is not helpful, I feel. But I would like to send a goodwill gift for the baby. Sincerely, Jonatha Ann Johnson, in Vicksburg, Michigan.

2. MOULAY ACHRAF NYAB <moulay.ach**@morocco.ma> Feb 18

I AM THE MOROCCAN PRINCE IN CHARGE OF KHOURIBGA/MOROCCO. I NEED SOME NORTH KOREAN MISSILES TO BOMB AMERICA. MY KOREAN LAWYER KIM RYUL TOLD ME THAT AMERICANS ARE THE TERRORISTS WHO ARE KILLING ME.

3. Jon Novachich <novachi*****@crawler.com> Mar 7

please forward to new young. the usa is trying to steal my concept for a nuclear suit case bomb so i want to share it with new young. for the 16,000 degree triger i am using a cyntrifical jet fueled blow tourch and for the speed i am having two high power rifle cartridges that can shoot 4,000 yards per second. if you do the math each cartiridge is traveling at a speed of 8,200mph so an impact would be 16,400mph whitch meets the 13,000mph needed for a nuclear explosion. think of it as two gun barrles facing each other into the cyntrifical jet fueled blow tourch. also they are trying to steal my idea for a forced agirithium that could match any computers agirithuim. the usa has put a satellite into the sky that can read minds along with vision.president obama,cia dirwell,cia gross admiral jeremy boorda, homeland secuirity chris hardin along with colorado springs airforce and buckley airforce base and aerospace data facity will be using this technology since i sent this message

4. Bobby <bobby.panther.jone**@gmail.com> Mar 12

North Korea will meet certain doom and total anihalation if it takes any action against US and South Korea for the upcoming drills that have been conducted since the end of the war and they know it. We might have a weak President but our military is far superior to the want to be North Korean military, It is to bad that we can’t get all the brainwashed citizens out before destroying once and for all the pathetic government and military of North Korea, stop your saber rattling , it’s getting a littlle old and tired, but shows the tail between your legs!!!

5. Nadeem <[email protected]> Mar 18

Your propaganda filled website is a farce. You’re a bunch of exiles repeating Washington’s line. Traitors.

 


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About the Author

Adam Stulberg

Adam Stulberg is Associate Professor and Co-Director, Center for International Strategy, technology, and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international security, Eurasian politics and security affairs, nuclear (non)proliferation, and energy and international security, as well as inter-disciplinary courses on science, technology, and international security policy. His current research focuses on energy security dilemmas and statecraft in Eurasia, new approaches to strategic stability and denuclearization of military arsenals, internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle, counter-network warfare, and the implications of nanotechnology for international security. Dr. Stulberg earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University, an M.A. in Political Science from UCLA, and a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan. He served as a Political Consultant at RAND from 1987-1997, and as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Monterey Institute of International Studies (1997-1998). He has worked closely with Senator Sam Nunn drafting policy recommendations and background studies on future directions for the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, building regional and energy security regimes in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, and engaging Russia’s regional power centers. Dr. Stulberg was a post-doctoral fellow at CNS (2000-2001); policy scholar at the EastWest Institute; and has been a consultant to the Carnegie Corporation of New York (2000-present) and the Office of Net Assessment, Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (2000-present). Dr. Stulberg has authored and edited three books, and has published widely in leading academic and policy journals.

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