• The Best of North Korean News

    Earlier in Juche 101 (that's 2012, for those not used to calendars that start with the birth of Eternal President of the Republic Kim Il-sung) the official newspaper of the Korean Workers Party inaugurated its English-language service. While we've been lost in the minutiae of U.S. politics, Rodong Sinmun — Korean for "Fair and Balanced," I think — has been indispensable for its coverage of politics, culture and the economy.

    Still, some journalistic essentials like "facts" and "reality" are lost in the English pronouncements of Rodong Sinmun and the Korean Central News Agency, so additional translations have been provided.

    11/23, Juche 101, KCNA: Soybean Paste Indigenous to Korea

    From olden times, the Koreans have used soybean paste in their dietary life…As an essential foodstuff, the paste is considered highly nutritive. An old book, published in the 17th century, says that paste's taste is the best of all dishes and it is applied to making all dishes.

    Translation: We are out of everything but soybean paste.

    11/22 Juche 101, Rodong Sinmum: Editorial, Let Us Successfully Fulfill This Year's Tasks with Fighting Spirit of KPA

    All the officials, party members and working people should perform shining feats in the present general advance by giving full play to the revolutionary soldier spirit with invincible confidence and optimism. They should also learn from the intense loyalty of the People's Army in upholding their leader with pure hearts and fidelity…All the officials should persistently work to successfully conclude this year's campaigns according to daily and weekly plans…Let all of us struggle and create with the revolutionary soldier spirit to successfully glorify this year with proud victory.

    Translation: Here comes mandatory overtime.

    11/30 Juche 101, KCNA: New Kinds of Saunas Appear in Pyongyang

    The Ryugyong Health Complex here which opened some time ago, boasts of new kinds of saunas. They include pine tree, salt and stalactite saunas. Their temperatures are lower than others, standing at around 50 degrees Celsius…The salt sauna makes salt emanate far infrared rays. Good for recovery from fatigue, it promotes curing circulatory and nervous diseases.

    Translation: All the real hospitals in Pyongyang are closed.

    11/9, Juche 101, Rodong Sinmum: Kim Jong Un Sends Large Chestnuts to Changgwang, Kyongsang Kindergartens

    Putting forward children as king of the country, President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il made sure that children's cradles were built throughout the country and lavished them with things best in the world. Their great benevolence has been carried forward by Marshal Kim Jong Un. Large chestnuts whose amount was enough for even distribution among children of the kindergartens reflected deep loving care that can be shown only by parents who take care of the future of the country.

    Translation: There's not enough wood for cradles this year, so the kids get chestnuts.

    9/8, Juche 101, Rodong Sinmum: Kim Jong Un Gives Field Guidance to Physical Exercise Center in Thongil Street

    Originally, the object was being built for other purpose. That day, he gave an instruction to make it a mass sports center in which the working people can do physical training and curative sports and promote their health and living. In hearty response to the instruction of the Supreme Commander soldier builders conducted a vigorous drive and wonderfully built the center in a short span of time…At the physical exercise room for health on the second floor, he noted that it was arranged better than the rooms on the ground and first floors.

    Translation: The designers of the ground and first floors were executed.

    Juche 102 is going to be wild.

    Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong-un, Media, North Korea


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