Hyon Yong Chol’s Execution and the Two Headed Dragon of Dishonesty

Once again a false claim has been made about the execution of a high ranking official in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This time the supposed victim is Hyon Yong Chol the defence chief of the country’s armed forces.[1] The usual claim of a colourful method of execution was given. This time it was a firing squad of anti-aircraft guns. A satellite photo of what appears to be a firing range was used as ‘proof’ of the execution.[2] The satellite photo is of Kanggon Military Training Area, 14 miles north of the capital Pyongyang. Of course the photo doesn’t show any people, nor does it show anything that would indicate that an execution had taken place. According to South Korean intelligence (which is ironically named because they never get anything right) claims he was executed for falling asleep during a meeting.[3]

As per usual the mainstream media ate it up like the 100 hungry dogs that killed the uncle of the country’s leader Kim Jong Un.[4] (A claim that was shown to have come from a news parody site in China. It’s very telling that anti-DPRK media is indistinguishable from parody.) The claim was accepted all around the world by media outlets without question and presented as absolute truth, maintaining a long history of blatantly dishonest journalism. If only Gamer Gate activists could care about actual dishonesty in journalism surrounding something important like international politics.

A recent article by International Business Times suggests that perhaps the claim isn’t true after all.[5] They note that a recent video (that they call propaganda, because capitalism would never do that) contained footage of the supposedly executed man. Why is this significant? According to the article, “This public appearance in the propaganda film, which may be old, casts doubt on the claims of Hyon’s execution, as in the past, North Korea has been careful to remove all images of those executed, from public domain.”

In other words his images has been seen publicly casting doubt upon the baseless accusation. However, despite the fact they’ve probably been exposed as lying, they’re still going to assume something bad by the DPRK and leave the door open for the possibility that they may still right. A benefit of the doubt that the DPRK never receives. First they acknowledge that he has been seen on television casting serious doubt on their claim, but then they say it might be an old video so therefore they might still be right. Then, they appear to be giving the benefit of the doubt by attacking the county’s leadership by saying executed leaders are erased from public domain. It only takes a critical eye to read between their lines. I don’t think I need to point out the arrest and execution (an actual one) of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Son-thaek for corruption and treason. He was publicly arrested with images of the event and his face plastered all over the media.

Jodi Picoult said: “It takes two people to make a lie work: the person who tells it, and the one who believes it.”[6]

I think in this case that line is wholly accurate.

It absolutely never ceases to amaze me the zealot-like degree of dishonesty that is used against the DPRK. The bourgeois media will say anything with no concern given to believability to attack the country. No matter what, those opposed to the country will believe anything they are told about it regardless of the extent of its nonsensical nature.

I’ve come to see this as the twin heads of dishonesty, or the two-headed dragon of dishonesty. The bourgeois owned media deliberately puts out such nonsense tales and parrots them with the clear intention to attack the country because it doesn’t live to serve an imperialist master. People go out and believe the nonsense even though commonsense should tell them that such an outlandish claim might require at least some evidence. In the case of attacking the DPRK it does take two make a lie work. One to knowingly spread a false claim, and another to knowingly believe a false claim.

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[1] North Korea Defence Chief Hyon Yong-chol ‘executed’, BBC

[2] North Korea defence chief reportedly executed with anti-aircraft gun, The Guardian

[3] N. Korea’s defense chief executed: S. Korea’s spy agency, Yonhap News

[4] Story about Kim Jong-un’s uncle being fed to dogs originated with satirist, The Guardian

[5] North Korea’s ‘Executed’ Defence Chief Hyon Yong Chol ‘Appears’ on TV; Doubts Arise Over South Korea’s Claim, International Business Times

[6] Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts, Washington Square Press, March 2005, ISBN-13: 9780743454551

2 thoughts on “Hyon Yong Chol’s Execution and the Two Headed Dragon of Dishonesty

  1. To my opinion, we are witnessing an interesting twist in the global class struggle. Ever since the industrial revolution, the global class struggle has been similar to arm wrestling which tended to favor both sides intermittently. The theoretical work of Marx and Engels has delivered an awful blow to the bourgeoisie. They tried to refute it but couldn’t. A revolutionary movement has been mushrooming. At that stage they devised a new mighty weapon against the working class: Fascism (I skip WWI to be concise). With extreme brutal force they crushed the Spanish republic and the revolutionary movements in Italy and in Germany, and went on to destroy the Soviet Union. However, the USSR survived, and the balance has changed. The Chinese revolution came about. From then and until 1991 the war between the working class and the bourgeoisie has been assuming a variety of forms, with military confrontation still playing an important role, until the bourgeoisie won the battle: The revolutionary Russia and China were gone. However, their triumph was only nearly complete: Although the thick revolutionary tree was cut off, a small but stubborn branch remained. This stubborn branch, the DPRK, has survived thus far, and it is very difficult to destroy it using military means now. Moreover, the DPRK is accumulating strength, and it is blowing new wind in the loose sails of the world revolutionary movement. The arm wrestling is starting to tilt a bit to the other side. In this alarming situation the bourgeoisie needed to devise again a new weapon, and indeed they found one: This old-new weapon is LIBEL. The libel that says that communism has a hobby to kill. Such and such tens of millions were murdered in Russia. Such and such tens of millions were murdered in China. The DPRK murders its own top people every time in again, just for fun and because of some strange sadistic cruelty. And so on and so forth. You think that capitalism has shortcomings and cannot address the problems of humanity? You ponder about socialism? Fine, but beware: Socialism and communism are tantamount to slaughter of hundreds of millions. Why? Simply because they are sadistic. Thus, libel has acquired the status a major, omnipotent weapon. There should be a way to systematically deal with this weapon of the bourgeoisie, and break it into small shreds.

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