SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – North Korea stoked international outrage last week after launching a podcast clearly directed at National Public Radio’s This American Life.
Entitled That Stupendous, Glorious Korean Liveliness, the hour-long broadcast was detected early Friday from a previously hidden bunker outside of Pyongyang; it became available for download on iTunes DPRK just hours later.
The move marked the latest show of force from an increasingly pugnacious North Korean government and dashed hopes that Kim Jong-un would prove more measured in his implementation of radio than father and predecessor Kim Jong-il, whose robust programming lineup included the popular game show, Wait, Wait… Don’t Kill Me, the folksy Labor Camp Companion, and the consistently excellent Diane Rehm Show.
“We do not hide that this dynamic, explosive hour of radio was directed at our sworn enemies, the hacks at WBEZ Chicago and their insolent leader, Ira Glass,” said North Korea’s chief propagandist, Jin Yoon-song. Despite layers of harsh sanctions levied against it by the United Nations, the deeply isolated country insists on its “sovereign right” to develop radio programming that keeps the public oppressed and uninformed.
After a short introduction having confusingly little to do with the remainder of its content, the podcast features Dear Leader Kim narrating ostensibly heartwarming stories about everyday North Koreans.
“I might not have context to understand the condition of these miserable urchins,” said DPRK Vice Marshal Hyon Yong-chol, “but I can at least feel good about myself for listening.”
Indeed, while most North Koreans lack access to radios, iPods, electricity, flushing toilets, and food, the country’s better-fed and tech-savvy government elite have already made the podcast North Korea’s top download.
“This sort of banal chatter threatens everything we stand for,” said NPR President and CEO Gary Knell from Washington. “We sling quality shit here at NPR, but if those NORKs are just going to rip it off at every turn, we might as well all quit and become gym teachers. Or kill ourselves.”
The podcast reportedly took Knell and all of his regionally affiliated colleagues by surprise, as North Korea was not previously believed to have the technical expertise required to pull off a complete hour of radio programming.
“It’s like sanctions mean nothing anymore,” Knell added. “Honestly, what part of ‘nothing longer than a short’ can these dildos not understand?”
Leaders in South Korea, Japan, China, and the United States have all urged for calm in the region.
“The last thing the world needs right now is this kind of needlessly provocative and, frankly, pretty god-fucking-awful listening,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “Seriously, after listening to that cloying couple go on about eating rice out of shit for twenty minutes, I’ll say it – I wanted them to starve. Hey, Zooey Jung-Deschanel and Joseph Chang-Levitt, go fuck yourselves!”
The UN Security Council will convene next month to discuss further restrictions to North Korea’s audio-visual ambitions. All parties agree that Pyongyang must not be allowed to develop the ability to live tweet.
“Hashtag ‘eat-my-nukes’ is an absolute redline for me,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “I simply refuse to live in a world where every asshole has a Twitter account.”
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