Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pleasing Give Me Extra-Large Crime, Much-Flailed

If you enjoy the fractured English of Borat, the make-believe Kazhak character created by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (of "Da Ali G Show"), you'll love the real-life mangling of our language by the official North Korean news agency. After hearing some amusing, oddly worded statements from the North Koreans about their recent nuclear test, I gave up my job-hunting duties for an afternoon to seek out more of the creative verbal stylings of our comrades in Pyongyang.

Being almost totally isolated from the rest of the world, North Korea doesn't let too many English teachers from the West visit the country. As one of the few communist countries of the 20th century to actually stay true to communism, North Korea is full of revolutionary bluster and anti-imperialist claptrap. The North Korean news agency's (KCNA) official Web site heaps plenty of abuse on the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. And it has the odd tendency to use the word "flail" to mean criticize or assail, as in "U.S. Violation of Human Rights Flailed" and "Fascist Crackdown on Trade Union in S. Korea Flailed." Go figure.

Explaining the country's withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the North Koreans argued "the USA is creating an energetic crisis." Regarding NK's recent nuclear explosion, the agency said, "The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent."

Another news release called Japan "'a political dwarf,' which refuses even to honestly repent of its past crimes including extra-large crimes of human rights abuses." But those venti or grande abuses are apparently not all those naughty Japanese are up to: "Japan is getting all the more unscrupulous in its inborn bad habit of trying to feather its own nest by hurling calumny at others."

South Korea also regularly gets whipped with the rhetorical wet noodle, with the North Koreans calling a leading South Korean political party "a group of man-killers." And referring to a recent South Korean arms test, the leaders from the north "bitterly denounce the South Korean bellicose forces for developing a latest type dangerous weapon in pursuance of confrontation and war between fellow countrymen to serve the U.S. in its moves for a war against the north." If that wasn't enough of a mouthful, the article continues, "Only stern judgment and merciless punishment of history and the nation await the traitorous forces which bring only misfortune and disasters to the nation, toeing outside forces' policy of aggression."

Of course, no communist country's news service would be complete without heaping breathless praise and adoration upon the nation's fearless leaders. A recent celebration of the Korean communist party's 61st anniversary was apparently quite the joyous occasion nationwide, with events including an art exhibit, no less. "On display at the venues," a press release notes, "were famous works of the peerlessly great persons and photographs showing the 60-odd-year history of the WPK shinning with victory and glory." North Korean youth "also celebrated the day with songs and dances overflowing with revolutionary mettle and optimism." Shinn on, all you heavy mettle dudes...

You can find all this great and happy news at the Web site for the Korea News Service in Japan. I feel I should mention this because, as the site notes, "Re-use of any material on this home page without credit to Korea News Service (KNS) is prohibited." And I don't want these guys coming to my home and doing anything like flailing me with a most merciless beating of the glorious anti-imperialist wet noodle.

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