Are North Korea’s propagandists finally getting better at crafting their metaphors?
In a statement published Wednesday, a spokesperson for the North Korean defense commission insulted Secretary of State John Kerry by insinuating that he is unattractive. According to the Associated Press, the spokesperson ridiculed Kerry as a wolf with a “hideous lantern jaw.” The American diplomat was also described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The North Korean denunciation of Kerry’s jawline comes on the heels of his comments in Hawaii about the need to continue to promote human rights in East Asia. In the statement, Pyongyang denounced these efforts. “His behaviour fully revealed once again the U.S. inveterate nature as a hypocrite who has deceived and mocked mankind with all sorts of gimmicks,” the spokesperson said, referring to Kerry. The statement only ran in the state-run Korean Central News Agency’s Korean-language version, indicating it was in all likelihood aimed at whipping up patriotic fervor against the United States.
Statements like these are a dime a dozen from North Korea’s propagandists, who recently called President Barack Obama a “wicked black monkey” and said South Korean President Park Geun-hye is “no more than an old prostitute coquetting with outside forces.” But this time, Pyongyang at least stumbled on a suitable metaphor for the incendiary rhetoric.
Those generous jowls and that gray hair do have a vaguely lupine quality.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |