September 27, 2021

Why you can’t believe everything you read about North Korea

A typo on a U.N. database led to misleading reports from uncritical journalists, but the mistake was avoidable

Early Thursday morning Korean time, Radio Free Asia reported in Korean that North Korea had donated $300,000 in COVID-19 relief to Myanmar, citing a U.N. database. This was quickly picked up by Yonhap News Agency and proliferated from there to other English and Korean media.

The narrative that North Korea wanted to give aid to a military regime that recently ousted a democratic government could be read between the lines.