North Korean state media had sturdy phrases for Joe Biden – the previous US vice-president and present presidential candidate – on Wednesday.
Mr Biden had “gone reckless and mindless, seized by ambition for energy”, a commentary on the information web site KCNA stated.
He was “an imbecile bereft of elementary high quality as a human being, not to mention a politician”, the commentary stated, including that he was “a idiot of low IQ”.
The piece additionally accused him of “vulgar acts and phrases about girls” – a reference to earlier allegations of unwelcome touching from girls – and stated he turned a “laughing-stock of the media” when he appeared to go to sleep throughout a speech by then-President Barack Obama in 2011.
It even went again to the 1960s, reminding readers of the truth that Mr Biden “acquired a grade of F” in a paper as a result of he had plagiarised one other article. Mr Biden has admitted to plagiarism, however stated he misunderstood guidelines about citations.
Vibrant insults in North Korean media are nothing new – KCNA just lately quoted officers calling US nationwide safety adviser John Bolton “dim-sighted”, and accusing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “fabricating tales like a fiction author”.
And, two years in the past, North Korean chief Kim Jong-un famously referred to as President Donald Trump a “dotard” – a 14th-Century time period which means “an previous individual, particularly one who has turn into weak or senile”.
But – North Korea is likely one of the world’s most secretive societies, and all of its media are below direct state management, which suggests its information experiences, even once they principally encompass insults, give us an fascinating glimpse into what Pyongyang could possibly be considering.
Why is North Korea criticising Joe Biden?
Wednesday’s KCNA report accused Mr Biden of “rhetoric slandering the supreme management of the DPRK” throughout a current election marketing campaign.
This appeared to discuss with Mr Biden’s rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, the place he criticised Mr Trump for working with “tyrants like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Kim Jong-un”.
“North Korean media are likely to react sensitively to any feedback made by overseas officers, particularly US officers, concerning the North Korean chief,” Rachel Lee, a senior analyst at NK Information and a former North Korean media analyst for the US authorities, advised the BBC.
Nevertheless, it is vital to notice that KCNA is an exterior company aimed toward worldwide audiences, and “North Korea’s public haven’t got entry to it”, she added.
Usually, home North Korean media keep away from sure delicate subjects – or could keep away from commenting on some points, to make sure the federal government has extra wriggle room in a while, Ms Lee says.
In the meantime, Prof Andrei Lankov, a North Korea skilled at Kookmin College, says that such propaganda is a part of Pyongyang’s try and “drive a wedge” between Donald Trump and his political advisers.
State media criticism of Mr Biden, in addition to Mr Pompeo and Mr Bolton, is an try and painting a picture that “they wish to take care of Donald Trump, however he is prevented from doing something significant by the hardline American institution”.
Whether or not that is true or not is one other matter – the newest direct talks between Mr Trump and Mr Kim ended in Hanoi in February with none progress in direction of an settlement.
What’s with the colorful language?
North Korean state media are quite a bit blunter – and ruder – than you’d count on most official authorities shops to be.
They haven’t been afraid to be sexist – beforehand carrying quotes describing former President Park Geun-hye as “an unseemly wench who has by no means had an opportunity to marry or bear a toddler”, and criticising the “venomous swish of her skirt”.
It has additionally referred to as North Korean defectors, who’ve spoken about human rights abuses, as “human scum”.
“Most North Korean propaganda is extraordinarily – nearly comically – aggressive,” says Prof Lankov. “In North Korea, the harsher you sound, the higher… that is the way you’re supposed to speak about political topics.”
A lot of it’s influenced by China’s rhetoric from the late 1960s, he says, however Chinese language propaganda has modified over the a long time, with many in Chinese language media educated within the West or influenced by Western kinds.
North Korean rhetoric hasn’t modified nonetheless, as a result of “whereas society has modified quite a bit, their ideology has been frozen”.
Prof Lankov provides that the North Koreans working in state media are prone to be from elite households, and graduates of prestigious native faculties, who might be required to observe directions from the Propaganda and Agitation Division.
“North Korea is likely one of the final international locations the place the federal government has full management over the media.”
What do state media inform us about North Korea’s politics?
Regardless of the insults, North Korea has really toned down its anti-US rhetoric in final 12 months and a half, Ms Lee says.
“Because the [first] Singapore Trump-Kim summit final June, North Korean home media have by and huge avoided carrying destructive commentaries concerning the US.”
Up to now, “the final web page of Occasion Each day newspaper [Rodong Sinmun], was nearly at all times stuffed with commentaries criticising South Korea and the US – however since 2018 the web page will not be stuffed with extra worldwide information”.
“I feel the actual fact they’re refraining from specific criticism of the US utilizing home shops exhibits they are not closing the door on US-DPRK [North Korea] talks simply but.”