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Uzbekistan, North Korea ignore bin Laden news

Richard Orange reports for the Telegraph that Uzbekistan’s state media appears to have ignored this week’s (this year’s?, this decade’s) biggest international news story:  A spokesman for Pravda Vostoka, the leading government mouthpiece, said that it had not heard about bin Laden’s death because it did not have an internet connection, Uznews, a website for ...

Richard Orange reports for the Telegraph that Uzbekistan’s state media appears to have ignored this week’s (this year’s?, this decade’s) biggest international news story: 

A spokesman for Pravda Vostoka, the leading government mouthpiece, said that it had not heard about bin Laden’s death because it did not have an internet connection, Uznews, a website for exiled Uzbeks, reported.

The spokesman added that bin Laden’s death was "unlikely to be of interest to its readership."

A spokesman for the Uzbek national news agency said that while the agency had been aware of bin Laden’s death, his correspondents had failed to get through to political analysts who could provide commentary on the event.

The agency was planning to publish an analysis of bin Laden’s demise later, he said.

The uzreport.com website complained that it did not have correspondents in the region who could confirm the reports.

As Orange notes, the story is hardly irrelevant to Uzbekistan, which has struggled for years with militant activity by the IMU — an al Qaeda affiliated organization. The Telegraph‘s headline describes Uzbekistan as "perhaps the only media in the world not to report the story," but I was curious to see how axis-of-evil third wheel North Korea covered the event.

There’s nothing on the Korean Central News Agency’s English website,  which doesn’t actually appear to have been updated since Wednesday. (Best headline of the day: "Finnish Personage Praises Kim Jong Il’s Feat").

The (Google-translated) Korean-language page has nothing and the North Korean media watchers over at DailyNK don’t mention any reactions as well. It appears the North Korean media may also have taken a pass on this one.

South Korean pundits, on the other hand, see this news as quite relevant to the standoff on the peninsula: 

An editorial in the South Korean news outlet Dailian blared on Tuesday, "Why can’t we do to Kim Jong-il, as [the US did] to Bin Laden? … Just as the US killed Bin Laden for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, we should retaliate with the death of Kim Jong-il for the attacks on the warship Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island." 

"Americans hunt down a terrorist for a crime done as far back as 10 years ago … We should learn the American way of implementing justice," the conservative columnist Cho Yong-hwan wrote in Allinkorea.net.

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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