- By Marya Hannun<p> Marya Hannun is a researcher at Foreign Policy. </p>
"Leader, Just Give Us Your Order" KCNA
North Korea’s threats have dominated international news over the past month. But a quick scan of North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA suggests we’ve been missing something: Pyongyang’s unique literary approach to bellicosity.
Every few days, it seems, KCNA publishes an article detailing songs and poems performed at official events — remarkably literal titles that give you a sense of what it might sound like if Kim Jong Un adapted his provocations as a musical. Here are some of the top songs:
- "Leader, Just Give Us Your Order" — the hit single, "now heard everywhere in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea," crops up most frequently on KCNA (you can listen to the tune above).
When it comes to poetry — a literary form loathed by high schoolers the world over for its mind-numbing level of abstraction and obfuscation — the North Koreans might be on to something with titles like:
If these are a little somber for your taste, there’s always the poem that kicked off today’s event celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s election as the DPRK defense commission chairman — the idyllically titled, "Great Joy in April."
For those who listened to "Leader, Just Give Us Your Order" and still want more, here are "We Will Defend General Kim Jong Un at the Cost of Our Lives" and "Provokers Are Bound to Meet Death":
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Foreign Policy |
Isaac Stone Fish is associate editor at Foreign Policy. Previously a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, he wrote stories on such subjects as the Dalai Lama’s effect on international trade, China’s love affair with rogue states, and crystal meth in North Korea. His articles have also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Economist, and the Los Angeles Times.| Passport |