December 04, 2022

How North Korean Media Propagandizes Its Rocket Launches

Although North Korean media appears to have gone into overdrive following today's satellite launch success, a look back at previous launches showcases extremely similar patterns.

Today's satellite launch, the first actual success in North Korea's history, was handled very differently to what was an extremely high profile attempt in April this year. In contrast to deep coverage ahead of the launch date, this time there were only three mentions of the rocket made by KCNA, with one article announcing the launch, one announcing technical difficulties and one other saying the launch window would be extended. Intriguingly, the Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun made no mention of the launch preparations.

Though the rocket was fired less than a day ago, North Korean media has already published eight articles celebrating the successful launch, with content detailing how Pyongyangites have become “overcome by joy” and workers “encouraged” by the successful launch. Many of these are done in the “man on the street” reporting style, with KCNA interviewing regular people about their views on the launch. There was also video of an “impromptu” celebration held outside the main theater in Pyongyang.