May 21, 2019

NPR: With New Style And Graphics, North Korea Gives Propaganda A Makeover.

There’s an evening show on North Korea’s state TV that brings soldiers news from their hometowns.

Last September, the show on the regime-run Korean Central Television, or KCTV, was interrupted for an urgent update.

“Another piece of news from our families on the home front, just in from the Kangson steel factory,” an announcer says. “Soldiers from Kangson will be happy to hear that,” the anchor replies, beaming.

The update: A soldier’s father says he and fellow factory workers are so motivated, they will beat production targets by 50%.

The spirited labor message is decades old. But the presentation, including the staged interruption, hints at a change in propaganda tactics.

The news presenters are fresh-faced. Their attire is business casual. Their dialogue is chatty. You might almost think it’s a South Korean show.

Except for the actual content and that you’re watching it on a TV with one channel.

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