■ South Korea’s Moon Jae-in labeled a coward

How were the missile launches explained to the officials?

Talking to the reporting partner, the official said, “The Party Secretary explained that the purpose of the missile launch was to publicize and flaunt our military capabilities to favor our negotiations. This lecture, however, was delivered to only state officials because ordinary citizens are living very poorly, with no food being distributed by the state. If ordinary people, living meal-to-meal and on the verge of collapse, were told that we were on the verge of military victory, they would simply say it’s absurd.”

Each time the US and ROK conduct joint military exercises, the North Korean regime holds air defense drills and counter-attack drills. With this year’s defensive drills being conducted at the same time as the government’s missile tests, the reporting partner was worried that the security situation would become very tense.

Surprisingly though, the reporting partner noted, the atmosphere in the country is very peaceful. “In the past, during missile or nuclear tests, we used to be mobilized through local political units and put on high alert. Now, though, there is nothing. Even when we have meetings, they only speak of ‘self-reliance’.”

Meanwhile, North Korean state media is blasting South Korean President Moon Jae-in for condemning the North’s missile tests while also conducting joint military exercises with the United States.

On August 11, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, while reporting on a statement of the DPRK foreign ministry, directed a stream of abuse towards the Moon Jae-in administration, describing the government as a “loudly barking, scared dog”. The following week, on August 16, a spokesman for the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland labelled Moon Jae-in a “coward”, before going on to say that “just the sound of a hunting gun from the North is enough to make him soil himself”. (Kang Ji-won)

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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