Demand For ‘The Interview’ Is Shooting Up In North Korea And Its Government Is Freaking Out

Please, /r/Cyberpunk. For a subreddit that prides itself on media skepticism and corporate scrutiny, we can do better than this.

Here's the discussion of this article over at /r/NorthKoreaNews, the subreddit dedicated to serious discussion about North Korea. Some key points to take away from what people have mentioned in that thread and my own thoughts:

  1. Free North Korea Radio has a bad track record of reporting. Their mission is noble but they're also known for completely fabricating stories in order to destabilize the Kim regime.

  2. How is there going to be high demand for a Hollywood blockbuster that was released on VOD not even a week ago? This would be ludicrously expensive on the black market.

  3. Being caught with South Korean dramas is one thing. Smugglers have infiltrated the country and brought them in over the course of decades. It's so rampant that the DPRK government had to change its internal propaganda. The sentences for being caught with dramas have been dramatically reduced. But material like The Interview will definitely take you and your family straight to the gulag. Why would there be a "high demand" for an extremely expensive black market item that can doom your entire family? This is like saying the United States has a "high demand" for pharmaceutical grade heroin cause reasons.

  4. I keep up with North Korean news and affairs because I'm personal friends with activists that are deeply involved in the reunification movement and actual North Korean defectors. I have never heard about Rich Klein until now and I don't understand why he's being treated as a credible source to speak on North Korea. If you want to discuss North Korean propaganda, the guys you'd want to talk to are B.R. Myers, Andrei Lankov, and Patrick McEachern.

  5. Klein claims that this movie is "Chernobyl for the digital age". Yeah? A comedy movie is comparable to a nuclear power plant disaster? If no one in the west buys any entertainment media coming out of North Korea treating it as paradise on Earth, what makes Klein think that North Koreans will see The Interview as anything but another piece of western propaganda?

This is frustrating to me because the Workers' Party continues to maintain its iron grip over North Korea because the western media never bothers to understand them. They just sensationalize stupid stories like this without ever seeking out actual experts who are qualified to share their opinion on North Korean motives and propaganda. It's a complex country ruled by very intelligent regime.

If you really want to contribute to the collapse of the DPRK and do something that will actually hurt the regime, donate to Liberty in North Korea. You'll be funding rescue teams that rescue North Korean defectors who then go on to work with activists in the outside world by giving them first hand news updates of what's been going on in the country and helping devise new strategies of engagements. You can find links for all that at the bottom of the post.

If you want to get some insight into how North Korea carefully crafts its propaganda and image to the outside world, feel free to read the whole comment.

But please, if you spent any money at all to watch The Interview, consider matching your VOD price with a donation. Increased activism against the Kim regime is what scares the Kim regime, not comedy films that can very easily be spun as outrageous western propaganda.

/r/Cyberpunk Thread Link -