February 24, 2024

No joke: North Koreans don’t fully understand the ridicule

Language barriers, propaganda and harsh realities keep barbs from 'The Interview' and 'Team America' from sinking in

The top North Korean leadership has attracted a great deal of attention in the world media – especially given the meager economic significance of the country they run (after all, in terms of its size the North’s economy rivals that of Ghana and Mozambique).

However, it is an open secret that most of this attention has not merely been unfavorable; in many cases, the Kim dynasty is seen as the object of ridicule. Indeed, for the average reader of the Western media, neither Kim Jong Un nor his late father Kim Jong Il are usually seen as the embodiment of evil incarnate. Rather, they are the butt of jokes, often rather crude.