A Korean redditor writes:
“What makes me angry is that by mocking North Korea, the mockers are reinforcing the DPRK’s state propaganda. If you think the North Korean government is stupid or you see them as toothless cartoon villains, then you’ve already been indoctrinated by them.
“A large part of why North Korea endures is because they’ve carefully engineered how they want to appear to the West. Horrific things are happening there right now. Some of my friends have been sent to juvenile concentration camps where kids were beaten and raped by the guards. Camps where kids had their feet cut off for attempting to escape. Friends who saw a fresh corpse on the street every day they walked home from school, left to starve to death on the sidewalk because of the Great Famine. Friends who were forced to eat bark to survive, friends who witnessed cannibalism.
“There is so much information out there about how horrible and dangerous North Korea is but the international community doesn’t receive pressure from their constituents to do anything about it because everyone views North Korea as a joke. That is a very intentional, calculated move by the DPRK government. They are fully aware of how ridiculous and empty their threats sound. Those statements are nothing but propaganda fed to the West. …
“They know they can’t possibly withstand a military invasion from a first world power, but at the same time, they can’t risk a policy of close contact because it would compromise the internal propaganda they minister to their citizens.
“So they make ridiculous threats they can’t possibly carry out. They get angry about comedy movies. They play the role of the tiny man with a huge chip on his shoulder, and the international community responds accordingly. The unspeakable atrocities North Korea is committing against its citizens is overshadowed by the global public perceiving North Korea as a cartoon villain. …
“Any discussions about the concentration camps or human rights abuses are completely drowned out by stupid memes, stupid memes which exist because North Korea presented itself as an evil empire out of a sci-fi book and the West ate it up. North Korea is already associated with vapid memes in the eyes of young westerners.
“So the fact that the world is congratulating itself for being so witty and edgy for mocking North Korea is what made me angry this week. I’ve seen more outrage against North Korea for bullying Sony into pulling this movie than I have when the UN released its report on North Korean concentration camps.
“If the world was able to see North Korea soberly as the most brutal dictatorship in the world, it wouldn’t be such a pain in the ass convincing people to get involved. That’s harder to do now that everyone is lapping up the DPRK’s Kool Aid without realizing.”
Full comment and discussion http://np.reddit.com/r/asianamerican/comments/2q4ofq/sony_the_interview_whats_your_take/cn2x3j7
Image from this Reuters article.