North Korea files UN complaint over James Franco/Seth Rogen film

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. KCNA, July 8, 2014.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. KCNA, July 8, 2014.

The US-government funded despicable imperialist pigdog news agency Voice of America today reports that North Korea has filed a formal complaint to the United Nations over "The Interview," a James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy about an attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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North Korea Condemns Imperialist Dwarf Seth Rogen

Seems like a good moment to remind you that there are an infinite number of North Korean press releases and that no-one is left undenounced. Previously.

North Korea threatens "merciless" war against the US over Seth Rogen movie

North Korea has threatened "merciless" war against the USA if a James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy called "The Interview" is released. The movie involves a plot to assassinate North Korean hereditary dictator Kim Jong-un. A North Korean state spokesman called the movie an "act of war" and a "blatant act of terrorism" and "reckless US provocative insanity." The spokesman called the film's director a "gangster filmmaker" and said that North Koreans had greeted the production with "a gust of hatred and rage."

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North Korean science fiction and the Maoist road to Mars


Jeff sez, "The Journal of Asian Studies has two science fiction-related essays: a full-length study that focuses on North Korean sci-fi stories of the 1950s and 1960s, which were intended for children and influenced by Soviet works of the time; it's paired with a shorter comment that explores parallels between texts Zur analyzes and SF produced in Mao era China."

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North Korean students must now all wear Kim Jong Un's "Chinese smuggler" haircut


A disturbing new turn in the North Korean Official Haircut Story: men male students can no longer choose from 18 approved haircuts and must henceforth all sport the same haircut as Kim Jong Un. This haircut is locally known as the "Chinese smuggler haircut."

Update: The BBC has since updated its story: the haircut mandate applies only to students, not all men.

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Official haircuts of North Korea

There are 28 official state-approved haircuts in North Korea, and there is renewed emphasis on the official coiffure parameters under its new leader, Kim Jong Un. Ironically, Kim's own haircut is not on the official list. Cory 14

Meth offered 'as casually as a cup of tea' in North Korea

There's not much stigma attached to meth use in harsh North Korea, writes Los Angeles Times reporter Barbara Demick, interviewing North Koreans in China.

Some take it to treat colds or boost their energy; students take it to work late. The drug also helps curb appetites in a country where food is scarce. It is offered up as casually as a cup of tea, North Koreans say. "If you go to somebody's house it is a polite way to greet somebody by offering them a sniff," said Lee Saera, 43, of Hoeryong, also interviewed in China. "It is like drinking coffee when you're sleepy, but ice is so much better."

More: LA Times.

Kim Jong Un laughing alone on ski-lift


Rodong Sinmun, courtesy photo

North Korea faxes south to notify it that attack will occur "without notice"

I'll have to add "repeated extra-large provocations" to the North Korea Press Release Generator. [Fox News]

The silent soccer matches of North Korea

North Korea's coach, Kim Jong-Hun, received tactical advice during matches from Kim Jong-Il himself using mobile phones that are not visible to the naked eye. [Tim Hartley / BBC]

Kim Jong Un wants Obama to Call Him Maybe, says new bestie Dennis Rodman after Vice mag North Korea junket

From "North Korea Has a Friend in Dennis Rodman and VICE." Not 'shopped; you can tell by the pixels.

Argo 2.0? Former NBA star and noted weirdo Dennis Rodman told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos today that he returned from a trip to North Korea arranged by VICE with a message for President Obama from Kim Jong Un:

“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Rodman told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me.”

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North Korea uses western video game music in propaganda

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea used Jeremy Soule's theme tune from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in a fiery propaganda video. [Kotaku] Previously: Modern Warfare 3 clips used in NK propaganda.

U.S. bombed in North Korean propaganda video

Please enjoy this North Korean propaganda video, which features dreams of happiness and space travel, a stirring instrumental rendition of We Are The World, and America engulfed in flames. [Video link: LiveLeak]

Google adds North Korean death-camps to maps


Google Maps has added notorious, secretive North Korean prison camps to its maps of the country. The data is gleaned from user contributions, including a first-person account of Shin Dong-Hyuk, who escaped from Camp 14, a death camp where he was born and raised.

Called Map Maker, Google’s information for the country’s layout comes primarily from visitors and from former citizens who defected, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The mapping idea stemmed in part from a 28-year-old South Korean who tried to use Google maps on a trip to Laos four years ago, but found it unhelpful, at best. He ultimately helped devise the Google map application for North Korea.

“I thought if I could fill in information on North Korea, it might be useful in an emergency or tragedy if Google can provide a map for aid agencies,” the South Korean told the Wall Street Journal.

Google maps North Korea, including prison camps [Cheryl K. Chumley/Washington Times] (via /.)

Photos of a simpler time ... in North Korea

Retro DPRK is a blog that collects images of North Korea from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Getting into North Korea from the United States and Western Europe is not easy today. But up until the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was even more difficult. If you weren't also from a Communist country, chances were good that you weren't going to get even a glimpse of the place.

But, at the same time, North Korea was also promoting itself through propaganda, and as a tourist destination for citizens of the USSR. Christopher Graper — who leads tours into North Korea today from Canada — has scanned scenes from postcards and tourism brochures — rare peeks into the little-documented history of a secretive country.

The collection blends familiar scenes that wouldn't look terribly different from American advertisements of the same era with an amusingly odd sensibility (who wouldn't want a whole book of postcards documenting every detail of Pyongyang's new gymnasium?) and quietly disconcerting scenes like the one above, where a seaside resort town appears eerily empty — like a theme park before opening time.

Retro DPRK

Thanks for pointing me toward this, Gidjlet!