ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 8th, 2013 at 5:46 am

How Richardson and Schmidt Serve As Effective North Korean Regime Propaganda Props

» by in: North Korea

After reading this AP article about Bill Richardson and Eric Schmidt’s trip to North Korea it actually appears that they enjoy being propaganda pieces for the Kim regime:

Students at North Korea’s premier university showed Google’s executive chairman Tuesday how they look for information online: they Google it.

But surfing the Internet that way is the privilege of only a very few in North Korea, whose authoritarian government imposes strict limits on access to the World Wide Web.

Google’s Eric Schmidt got a first look at North Korea’s limited Internet usage when an American delegation he and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson are leading visited a computer lab at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang. Other members of the delegation on the unusual four-day trip include Schmidt’s daughter, Sophie, and Jared Cohen, director of the Google Ideas think tank.

Schmidt, who is the highest-profile U.S. business executive to visit North Korea since leader Kim Jong Un took power a year ago, has not spoken publicly about the reasons behind the journey to North Korea.

Richardson has called the trip a “private, humanitarian” mission by U.S. citizens and has sought to allay worries in Washington.

North Korea is holding a U.S. citizen accused by Pyongyang of committing “hostile” acts against the state, charges that could carry 10 years in a prison or longer. Richardson told The Associated Press he would speak to North Korean officials about Kenneth Bae’s detention and seek to visit the American.

Schmidt and Cohen chatted with students working on HP desktop computers at an “e-library” at the university named after North Korea founder Kim Il Sung. One student showed Schmidt how he accesses reading materials from Cornell University online on a computer with a red tag denoting it as a gift from Kim Jong Il.

“He’s actually going to a Cornell site,” Schmidt told Richardson after peering at the URL.

Cohen asked a student how he searches for information online. The student clicked on Google — “That’s where I work!” Cohen said — and then asked to be able to type in his own search: “New York City.” Cohen clicked on a Wikipedia page for the city, pointing at a photo and telling the student, “That’s where I live.”  [Associated Press]

You can read the rest at the link, but I hope they realize that their visit with these students was highly scripted by the regime and that their presence is being used as internal regime propaganda.  It is likely that the North Korean domestic media is brandishing Kim Jong-un’s tech credentials especially after the successful rocket launch by showing how the CEO of the world’s leading Internet company is awed by the technology of the Kim regime.

Well hopefully they at least get the American hostage returned from North Korea because if they return empty handed after serving as such willing regime propaganda props than you have to wonder why they agreed to such a trip in the first place?

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  • Teadrinker
    6:49 am on January 8th, 2013 1

    They certainly are playing along. Hope they manage to get that poor guy out.

  • Glans
    8:13 am on January 8th, 2013 2

    Internal regime propaganda? The Pyongyang elite can meet foreigners and surf the net, but you can’t. If Richardson and Schmidt are helping the regime get that message out, their trip may be a good idea after all.

  • Chris In Dallas
    4:04 pm on January 8th, 2013 3

    Ah, useful idiots…

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:05 pm on January 8th, 2013 4

    @2- Remember they have their own intranet in NK that the regime can now say Schmidt flew all the way to Pyongyang to inspect personally because he was so impressed by it. This of course all sounds ridiculous to you and me but not to North Koreans. Kim Jong-un has been eager to make himself appear to be a tech genius. He does not have the military or party accomplishments that his grandad or dad had so his tech accomplishments give him credibility domestically and differentiates him from the past rulers as well.

  • chefantwon
    6:06 pm on January 8th, 2013 5

    You were expecting the DPRK to try and actually let their citizens have a taste of real freedom?

    One would think this was the way all the students did their schoolwork……NOT!

    Is Richardson an idiot for being used like that? Do chickens lay eggs?

  • DMZDave
    6:49 pm on January 8th, 2013 6

    When Richardson was UN Ambassador his signature accomplishment and the one critical task for which Bill Clinton called on him to accomplish was to find a job in NYC for Monica Lewinsky. He knows virtually nothing about North Korea. But the media will go on at length about his six or seven trips to North Korea.

    The real story on this guy is that on his first trip to Pyongyang, he happened to be there when an Army warrant officer got lost and flew across the DMZ and had his helicopter shot down killing another pilot on what had to be the worst “orientation” flight ever. Bill leaped forward and offered to help mediate. A friend of mine was his Army escort. The North Koreans realized they had us by the short hairs and didn’t want to talk to some low rank Congressman, they knew they could do better and of corse, they did. My friend’s version was that they sat at the guest house for days with no one from the NK Goverment paying any attention and the only person Richardson spoke to the whole time was his press secretary who was busy connecting Richardson to media to whom he discussed the secret and important role he was playing. In truth, he played no role but since no one contradicted him, the false legend took root and at this point I suspect Richardson even believes it- the media sure bought it. The best part is Richardson stuck the Army for his several thousand dollar long distance phone bills to the media. What a guy.

  • tbonetylr
    6:13 pm on January 9th, 2013 7

    Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE), for the first time urges Obama to Sunshine with N. Korea in talks…
    ‘Korean Americans lobby US government for greater involvement in Korea’
    “KACE said, “We want to express our deep concern about America’s insufficient willingness to enter dialogue with North Korea about its development of nuclear weapons. The US’s decision to not negotiate with North Korea has ended up giving North Korea the time to strengthen its nuclear capabilities.”

  • tbonetylr
    7:06 pm on January 9th, 2013 8

    On this Jan. 10th, 2013 day the Chosun dug up this Dec. 28, 2010 article -
    ‘People in Their 30s Still Support Sunshine Policy’
    “About 70 percent of those in their 20s and 40s through 60s but only 54.4 percent in their 30s called for a tougher policy against the North.”

    The 30′s crowd is also less willing to fight for their country while those in their 50′s are most willing.

    “In a survey by Dongseo Research on Dec. 7, 59.4 percent of those in their 30s said(if) they had(to) they would fight if a war should break out or send their children to war. But that was a lower proportion than the 64.2 percent of those in their 20s, 77.1 percent of those in their 40s, and 83.5 percent of those in their 50s or older.”

    And of course those in the 20′s crowd is, according to a Prof. Lee Hyun-woo of Sogang University – “The progressive tendency of those in their 30s stands out in contrast to relatively conservative younger people. Those in their 20s are a non-ideological and individualistic generation who grew up amid economic abundance, so they’re very conservative as far as national security is concerned.”

    America will forever be in S. Korea protecting those Koreans in their 20′s so as to protect their spoiled individualistic brat rear-ends.


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