Was the KCNA Being Racist, Sexist and Homohobic?

Just recently there has been an awfully hypocritical outrage against the DPRK for allegedly publishing some statements that were homophobic, sexist, and racist. When I first heard about this I was of course skeptical given that it’s almost daily that some outrageous claim is made against them with nothing to back it up. Every so often the imperialist media claims the DPRK said this or that outrageous thing. The media has claimed the DPRK has promoted the existence of unicorns, or Kim Jong-il claiming to have invented the hamburger. This time however I was thrown quite a curve ball as people making the claim were actually able to point to something published by the KCNA!

Since people have appointed me a DPRK spokesman against my will on YouTube, I certainly cannot allow this to pass without investigating it. Besides are we really going to trust the anti-DPRK media to tell us the truth? After all they do lie about the most contemptible and frankly downright childish things.

Please allow me to go through these claims one by one and investigate them.

After all, such political swindlers as Kirby were mobilized so as to internationalize the nonexistent “human rights issue” of the DPRK.

As for Kirby who took the lead in cooking the “report”, he is a disgusting old lecher with a 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality. He is now over seventy, but he is still anxious to get married to his homosexual partner.

This practice can never be found in the DPRK boasting of the sound mentality and good morals, and homosexuality has become a target of public criticism even in Western countries, too. In fact, it is ridiculous for such gay to sponsor dealing with others’ human rights issue.

– KCNA, KCNA Commentary Slams Artifice by Political Swindlers, April 2nd, 2014 (Juche 103)

The first and most obvious issue here is the obvious translation error. This grammar usage is clearly not translated properly. The sentences are poorly constructed and this can lead to misunderstanding. What is also strange is the inexplicable use of the word “gay”. The KCNA doesn’t use Western slang words in their articles, which leaves me puzzled as to why it is there.

The First paragraph makes clear that the article is taking issue with Kirby’s dishonesty surrounding the country’s supposed “human rights” problems. This is clearly the focus of the article itself.

The first sentence of the second paragraph acknowledges that he is homosexual, but not that that is a criticism itself. The following sentence indicates his age and that he has not yet gotten married. The DPRK unfortunately has rather backward conservative ideas surrounding marriage and that those who have been together for long periods of time without having gotten married are wrong. This view is of course incorrect, but it is one held by DPRK culture.

The third paragraph is even more convoluted. “This practice can never be found in the DPRK”, is referring to the lack of marriage at Kirby’s age. The wording indicates that it is referring to the previous statement not a new one that has not yet been made. In the same sentence separated by a comma is “and homosexuality has become a target of public criticism even in Western countries, too.” This sentence points to the fact that sexual minority rights are an issue in Western countries right now. Not just Russia, but the US and the UK as well. The US particularly still has terrible discrimination against sexual minorities. In fact the leading cause of death among homeless transgender youth is murder. The suicide rate among sexual minority youth in general is 4 times higher than heterosexuals. This is what the KCNA article is referring too, the hypocrisy of the West to claim such unproven human rights abuses by the DPRK while they commit so many against their own sexual minorities.

The last sentence is tremendously confusing: “In fact, it is ridiculous for such gay to sponsor dealing with others’ human rights issue.” The KCNA doesn’t use Western slang words in their articles which leaves a huge question as to why it is there. Due to the fact that “gay” is spelled with a small g instead of a capital, it might indicate that they are using the traditional meaning of happy. Even if this is the case the sentence still doesn’t make any sense. It seems to be a translation error that questions why he is making such ridiculous human rights abuse accusations about the DPRK while he faces such discrimination as a sexual minority himself. The wording and grammar here is terribly confused and, as it stands it doesn’t make any sense.

I don’t think the KCNA was attacking Kirby on the grounds that he is a sexual minority. I think this is a terrible translation given the previously mentioned slang use and grammatical errors.

Now let us move on to the claim of sexism with regards to the South Korean president Park Geun Hye. Here is what was published by the KCNA:

What she has done, kowtowing to outside forces since she took office as “president,” clearly proves that she is no more than a dirty political harlot and old prostitute without an equal as she is steeped in sycophancy and treachery.

– KCNA, Park Geun Hye Censured as Root Cause of Disasters of Nation, May2nd 2014 (Juche 103)

We should understand right away that the terms “harlot” and “prostitute” are being used in the context of imperialism. Meaning they denote the oppressive subservience of Park to Obama. The language is very harsh and is frankly inappropriate. The use was however not intended to be used as an insult to Park’s sex. It was meant to describe her relationship with the public and her role in compliance with US imperialism. Again the wording was inappropriate but the context is not what the imperialist media is claiming it is.

Let us now move on to the claim of racism:

Park made waste water-like reckless remarks slandering the DPRK’s line on simultaneously developing two fronts after inviting her American master reminiscent of a wicked black monkey to visit south Korea on April 25.

– KCNA, Park Geun Hye Censured as Root Cause of Disasters of Nation, May2nd 2014 (Juche 103)

On the surface this would be incredibly racist. The problem here is that it transplants a common Western racial insult onto a culture that doesn’t use it. In Western cultures it is common to compare African-Americans to monkeys as an insulting way to call them unintelligent and uncivilized. This is not the case in Asia. In many Asian cultures the monkey is a trickster, an animal that deceives people. When placed in the context of the article, we see the KCNA referring to the US imperialist control over South Korea and their manipulation of world view to paint the DPRK as the aggressor. When we take the subject context and the cultural context into account we get something very different from a racial insult.

The black reference was simply a description of evil. The colour black is commonly associated with evil in many cultures globally. It stems from a primal fear darkness as well as other social factors. It literally was not referring to Obama’s skin colour.

What we have here is the KCNA failing to understand how certain cultural expressions will be interpreted by Western readers. The KCNA should know that Westerns will apply their own cultural values and use of langue on others. The Western media is failing to understand the Korean context to what they’re saying. It’s a common Western arrogance to assume everyone sees (or should see) things the same way they do. If anything this was merely a projection of their own racist language onto others, it is not a reflection of the DPRK’s own statements or attitudes.

The fact is the U.S. population including its political leaders are the ones who are racist towards Obama. How many times have these conservative politicians made racist remarks about the man? How many times have US civilian groups, particularly the Tea Party made unacceptable racist attacks upon him? How long was the birth certificate and claims of foreign birth dragging on? With all this they are making accusations of racism on the part of the DPRK?

Before I finish I’d like to take exception to one particular Western media personality. That person is Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks. His outrage towards these remarks was particularly animated and as equally ignorant. It’s very common of First World liberals to project their ignorance as outrage. The reason I take exception with Uygur is because of his past incident of doing this. Some time ago he made a news report about a Dutch company who designed a building that resembled the World Trade Centre being destroyed. The designers issued an apology saying that they did not see the resemblance. Uygur was outrage that they didn’t notice saying that they could not have missed it. It was Richard Coughlan who pointed out that the rest of the world doesn’t go around thinking about 9/11 all the time. This is true Americans do get the arrogant impression that everyone is thinking what they think and that they are the centre of the universe. What happens to America happens to the world, what is important to them is important to everyone else.

This ignorance has manifested itself in continued dishonest attacks against the DPRK. It is also incredibly hypocritical when we consider what a racist, sexist, and homophobic society America is. If this were not enough, they extend their imperialist influence to other nations that they dominate through economic and military oppression. They have no moral ground on which to attack the supposed human rights violations of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

How can capitalism a system predicated on inequality claim to be the champion of equality and human rights?

Sources:

KCNA Commentary Slams Artifice by Political Swindlers, Korean Central News Agency
http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2014/201404/news22/20140422-02ee.html

Park Geun Hye Censured as Root Cause of Disasters of Nation, Korean Central News Agency
http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2014/201405/news02/20140502-22ee.html

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