The latest bizarre and openly threatening propaganda video from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, just like the last one, has some elements that might be familiar to teenage or 20-something Americans: video games. That simple, amusing fact actually says a great deal about the complex interplay of ideas, ideology and propaganda on the Korean peninsula.
Two of North Korea’s recent propaganda videos both borrow major elements from popular American computers games. A video released two weeks ago, showing a North Korean dreaming happily about the destruction of New York City, included clips from the 2007 game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which was released by the California-based Activision. A video released today, which includes President Obama covered in shoddy CGI flames, uses the theme song from Elder Scrolls 4, a 2006 fantasy role-playing game produced by Maryland’s Bethesda Studios.
We can’t know for sure exactly why the people behind these videos made certain “creative” choices. But expert analysis of North Korean propaganda offers some pretty good hints. It turns out that North Korea has a long history of using propaganda to target right-wing nationalists in South Korea, where a small fringe minority is more receptive than you might think. Christopher Green, an experienced North Korea observer, wrote this in the comments section of NK News’s post on the latest video:
"The piece, which was likely made by South Korean sympathizers in conjunction with their Northern pals, is designed to encourage pro-North groups in the South and stoke the flames of anti-U.S. sentiment in broader South Korean society. As such, it is in line with North Korea’s long-cherished aim of getting the U.S. to withdraw from South Korea (I freely admit it is not a tremendously effective step in that direction, but that is by the by) as part of the move toward unification under North Korean rule. Remember that Rodong Sinmun article saying that North Korea was headed all the way to the South Sea under the wise rule of the supreme commander? Same thing, different day."
You read that correctly: the video was probably made in cooperation between North Korean propagandists and unpaid South Korean sympathizers. And it was meant to target other South Koreans.
That should both help to explain the video games clips and tell you something about those South Korean sympathizers. Per capita sales numbers show that South Koreans are some of the most vociferous video game consumers in the world, so it’s not surprising that they might reach for hit computer games to put together these videos. North Koreans, on the other hand, almost certainly do not have access to these games, nor even to computers sophisticated enough to play them.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/20/why-north-korean-propaganda-videos-steal-from-american-video-games/ --- What greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause? To use their own knowledge against them? --Bastila Shan
I'm pretty sure it's because it is quite difficult for them to create footage like that on their own, so they steal it from elsewhere. Why would south koreans use it? answering who made the chocse still doesn't answer why the choice was made. That didn't explain anything about why video game clips were used. --- There are only 10 types of people, those who understand binary and those who don't
I remember when Al Queada used concept art from Fallout 3 as a threat. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4dEAVQx8F64/S_A4H39C49I/AAAAAAAAAF8/PiRQ0yfYoEw/s1600/concept02B.jpg --- "The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never be sure if they're true" - Abraham Lincoln
Because those idiots obviously don't know what happens when you play "Poke the Bear". --- "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin