DPRK: Facts & Fiction
A Tongue in cheek disclaimer was printed in The Hindustan Times of January 7, 2014, under the heading ‘You Thought Kim Fed His Uncle to Dogs? Not Really, It was a Satire!’ The news item referred to the widely circulated story that the execution of Jang Thong Sack, the uncle of Kim Jong Un, was undertaken by stripping him and some of his colleagues, who were then fed to some 120 hungry hounds in horror story style in full view of Kim Jong Un and 300 other witnesses. Such an extraordinarily public event can hardly be kept secret, but it was assumed that it was. To give credibility to the story, Aidan Foster-Carter, senior research fellow at Leeds University of Britain, was quoted as saying: “I put no cruelty past the North Korean regime, but it does sound extreme even for them. In the recent past they did have an effigy of the South Korean president mauled by them.” What should really shock one is the origin of the story, a tweet on a microblog from Ten Cent Weibo “in the name of a known satirist or someone posing as him/her.” But it did not prevent the “independent” Hongkong newspaper Wen Weibo from picking up this tweet of December 11 and publishing it. Also, the fact that the tweet was viewed 2,90,000 times, makes one wonder if it was not preplanned and orchestrated by some agency determined to spread this canard. Indeed, by the end of December, this false report found its way from Singapore to different newspapers all over the world in tandem with other equally incredible reports. Needless to say, Delhi’s most widely read newspapers covered the news without even checking out its veracity with DPRK sources or the embassy in India. Such is the credibility of US purveyed material in this country that despite our knowledge of the “dirty tricks” brigade of the CIA, with volumes to document it, from Agee to Kunjanandan Nair, no one ever thought of checking out the truth of these reports. Worse, equally fraudulent reports appeared stating that the Korean leader was “drunk” when he ordered the execution of his uncle, as though he were a despot like those propped up by the US in so many states around the world. The facts, according to the DPRK, are the following: Jang was tried by a special military tribunal and sentenced to death under article 60 of the DPRK criminal code. The charges against him included amassing private wealth, building up not only a coterie of sycophants around himself but also taking economic and monetary measures that would lead to chaos in the monetary economy, the construction industry as well as allowing external elements to plunder the DPRK’s natural resources which would all have affected the mass of people adversely, an eventuality he hoped to use to effect a coup within the party and elements of the army. He also took over certain crucial functions of the cabinet of the DPRK while playing to the international gallery as a “reformist” when in fact he was actually playing the internal role of a facilitator of the “strategic patience” and “waiting strategy” of the USA and the South Korean state to destabilise the DPRK. As for the people of Korea as a whole, even today they are for a reunification based on the principles that were worked out by the President Kim Il Sung, and the talks between the North and South Korea are continuing.