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How to Write a North Korean News Headline

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea (DPRK), has a fascinating way to present news about the countries that it sees as its main enemies: South Korea, Japan and the USA. In my imagination there is a huge poster on the wall that instructs KCNA’s English writers how to write headlines:


Friday March 6, 2009
North Korean Propaganda Poster

1. Start of sentence. Select one of the following:

Japanese Reactionaries’
U.S. Bellicose Forces’
U.S. Imperialists’
U.S. War-Thirsty Forces’
U.S. and S. Korean Warmongers’

2. Middle of sentence. Describe your favorite anti-DPRK action. For example:

Anti-Chongryon Campaign
Ambition for Overseas Military Expansion
Ambition for Grabbing Tok Islet
Moves to Legalize Military Expansion
Moves to Revive Militarism
Nuclear War Hysteria
Arms Buildup
Moves to Ignite War

3. End of sentence. Select one of the following verbs:

Slammed
Blasted
Flayed

And there you are, an instant North Korean news headline. Look mom, no brains.

Sample headlines

Here are some actual KCNA headlines published between Jan 1 and Mar 5:

About Japan

Japanese Reactionaries’ Disgusting Diplomacy Slammed
Japanese Reactionaries’ Moves to Establish MD Blasted
Japanese Reactionaries’ Anti-Chongryon Campaign Flayed
Japanese Reactionaries’ Ambition for Overseas Military Expansion Flayed
Japanese Reactionaries’ Ambition for Grabbing Tok Islet under Fire
Japanese Reactionaries’ Moves to Legalize Military Expansion Overseas Flayed
Japanese Reactionaries’ Moves to Revive Militarism Flayed
Japan Urged to Stop Reckless Suppression of Koreans in Japan
Japan’s Hostile Campaign against DPRK Blasted
Japan’s Ambition to Grab Tok Islet Flayed
Japanese Prime Minister’s Anti- DPRK Remarks Blasted
Japanese Reactionaries Urged to Drop Their Daydream
Japanese Reactionaries’ Sinister Intention Disclosed
Japanese Reactionaries’ Ambition to Grab Tok Islet Flailed in S. Korea
Japan’s Moves to Grab Tok Islet Slammed
Japan Attempt to Dispatch SDF to Waters off Somalia Flailed

About the US

U.S. Bellicose Forces’ Reckless Nuclear War Hysteria Flayed
U.S. Contradictory Stance on Nuclear Issue Slammed
U.S. Imperialists’ Scheme to Beef up Their Aggressor Forces in S. Korea Flayed
U.S. Hypocritical Talk about “Champion of Human Rights” Dismissed
U.S. War-Thirsty Forces’ Arms Buildup Flayed
U.S. Blasted for Moves to Provoke War against DPRK
U.S. and S. Korean Puppet Army’s Joint Military Exercises Flailed
U.S. and S. Korean Warmongers’ Moves to Ignite War against DPRK Flayed
U.S. and S. Korean Warmongers’ Projected Key Resolve and Foal Eagle Slammed

About South Korean President Lee Myung Bak

When it comes to headlines about South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, headline writers have a choice of more than 3 verbs. In addition to Slammed, Blasted and Flayed, it appears that they may also use:

Accused
Rebuffed
Hit
Assailed
Ridiculed
Censured
Denounced

And occasionally, but not too often:

under Fire
Called for

See some glorious examples of KCNA headlines slamming, blasting, flaying, accusing, rebuffing, hitting and in other ways denouncing the South Korean President between Jan 1 and Feb 15 (after that the repetition got to me and I stopped recording):

Lee Myung Bak’s Outbursts Blasted
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Intention to Escalate Confrontation with DPRK Accused
Traitor Lee Myung Bak’s Anti-Reunification Remarks Rebuffed
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Instruction for Writing New Textbooks Slammed
Lee Myung Bak Hit for Bringing Situation to Catastrophe
Lee Myung Bak’s Bid to Revive Dictatorship under Fire in S. Korea
Lee Myung Bak Accused of His Pro-Japanese Behavior
Lee Myung Bak’s Reckless Remarks Blasted
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Policy of Confrontation Flayed
Lee Myung Bak’s Outbursts Termed Hypocritical
Lee Myung Bak’s Pro-Japanese Behavior Slammed
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Negative Stand on Inter-Korean Declarations Blasted
Lee Myung Bak Regime’s Murder of Innocent People Flayed
Lee Myung Bak’s Moves to Revive Dictatorship Flailed
Lee Myung Bak’s Anti-Reunification Acts Flayed in S. Korea
“Human Rights” Touted by Lee Myung Bak Group Assailed
Actions for Eliminating Lee Myung Bak Group Called for
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Killing of Evacuees Assailed
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Acts of Treachery Flayed
Lee Group’s Unpopular Stand on Tragic Incident Flailed
Lee’s Loudmouthed “Resumption of Red Cross Dialogue” Ridiculed
Traitor Lee Myung Bak’s Gibberish Assailed
United Actions of Koreans against Lee Myung Bak Group Called for
Lee Myung Bak’s Moves for Confrontation with DPRK under Fire
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Killing of Evacuees Slashed
Anti-Lee Myung Bak Struggle Called for
Lee Myung Bak’s Ridiculous Sophism Blasted
Lee Myung Bak Censured for Bedeviling Inter-Korean Relations
Lee Myung Bak Denounced for Pushing Inter-Korean Relations to Total Severance
Traitor Lee Myung Bak’s Nonsensical Remarks Blasted
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Ridiculous Anti-DPRK Charade Flayed
Lee Myung Bak’s Remarks on Inter-Korean Relations under Fire
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Nonsensical Remarks Flayed
Lee Myung Bak’s Treachery Flailed
Lee Myung Bak Group’s Sophism for Confrontation Flayed
Traitor Lee Myung Bak’s Reckless Remarks Censured

Homage to the glorious country and its leaders

These blastings and flailings are regularly interspersed with a flurry of news items about gifts to and visits by leader Kim Jong Il, tributes and homage to the his father Kim Il Sung, and anniversaries, such as Anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s Famous Work Observed and Important Anniversaries of DPRK Celebrated.

These headlines for January 6 of this year show a typical day on the KCNA site:

Kim Jong Il Visits Wonsan Youth Power Station
Homage to Kim Il Sung Paid
Floral Basket to Kim Jong Il
Gifts to Kim Jong Il from Russia and Kuwait
Ten Best Players and Coaches for 2008 Selected in DPRK
Joint New Year Editorial Widely Studied in DPRK
New Great Revolutionary Upswing Called for
All Koreans Called upon to Reenergize Reunification Movement
Anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s Work Observed
Moves to Enact Evil Laws Assailed in S. Korea
Will to Boost Friendly Relations with WPK Clarified by Nepalese Political Parties
Songun Politics of DPRK Praised in Peru
Joint New Year Editorial of Newspapers in DPRK Supported

Noticed the North Korean news organization’s curious fixation on the passive tense? It goes way beyond obsessive.

To enjoy all these glorious creations in the English language, please visit the official site of the KCNA, maintained by the Korea News Service (KNS) in Tokyo.

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Comments

  1. Saturday February 6, 2010 • EDDIE##commenter_says##

    The KCNA is a farce. This is hilarious.

  2. Wednesday July 14, 2010 • freekyidea##commenter_says##

    interesting XD

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