Conflict & Justice

North Korea says Newtown shooting demonstrates poor quality of life in US


Firefighters kneel to pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the school following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.


Mario Tama

North Korea's official state newspaper Rodong Sinmun has landed a low blow against the United States, using the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut as a propaganda tool to illustrate the poor quality of life in the US.

The article, published Jan. 5, was titled "Corrupt Society," and paints a picture of the US as a place where “Americans are reluctant to appear in public, fearing when and where they would be shot," according to

GlobalPost's correspondent in Seoul, Geoff Cain, put the latest piece of propaganda in context, pointing to a long string of North Korea's maligned references to its perceived enemies in the United States, as well as in Japan and South Korea.

"The propaganda apparatus is surprisingly sophisticated at taking foreign events and spinning them to fit the government's official line," says Cain.

"Remember George Bush's Axis of Evil? One source formerly inside North Korea told me that, around the same time, the government began putting up propaganda posters that read, 'The world spins with Korea on its axis!' What a clever pun," he adds.

The latest anti-American propaganda from North Korea comes as Google chairman Eric Schmidt makes a visit to the secluded state. The US State Department openly condemned his trip. 

More from GlobalPost: Google exec and former US governor visit North Korea (VIDEO)

Others have also criticized Schmidt's move. As the Weekly Standard wrote: “Why would the chairman of a company whose motto is ‘Don’t Be Evil,’ hobnob with a regime that embodies evil itself?” 

The latest piece of anti-American news is hardly shocking; as the Associated Press reported, North Koreans begin the process of cultivating negative sentiment toward the United States as early as kindergarten. 

More from GlobalPost: North Korea's Communist paper, Rodong Sinmun, launches English website