The Pyongyang Times
History and availability
The eight page tabloid was first launched on May 6, 1965, and is distributed in approximately 100 countries. For this reason, its staff are trained in English abroad. The newspaper also runs a website in several languages. Fifty-two issues of the paper are published annually. 2672 issues were released as of January 2012.
In North Korea, The Pyongyang Times is circulated in hotel lobbies, flights into the country and other places frequented by foreigners.
Structure and content
The structure of the paper is as follows: The front cover is usually devoted to Kim Jong-un, particularly visits to various institutions in the country and praising his leadership. The next few pages detail various technological and ideological exploits of the nation, followed by propaganda against South Korea, Japan, the United States and other nations who are considered hostile to North Korea. The last pages are similar to that of the Rodong Sinmun, offering "foreign news" — though little major world events are covered, and most of its content is focused on like-minded or socialist nations.
Most of its content, like all North Korean state media, is dedicated to leader Kim Jong-un. More specifically, most of the paper's news is translated from articles in the Rodong Sinmun. It has been described as lacking "actual news" and is "basically a rundown of Mr Kim's daily agenda, with substantial flattery thrown in for good measure."
The Pyongyang Times has made various claims about South Korea, particularly with regards to its allegedly poor human rights record. It has stated that 50% of South Koreans are unemployed, 57.6% are infected with tuberculosis and that American soldiers with AIDS are posted in the south as a deliberate policy to infect the South Korean population. In a May 31, 1986 article, it criticised the decision that the 1988 Olympics were to be held in South Korea, purporting that "If the Olympic Games were to be held in South Korea, many sportsmen and tourists of the world would meet death, infected with AIDS." Meanwhile, it has described North Korea as the only country in the world that has no HIV/AIDS sufferers.
However, the paper was relatively open during the major flooding in 2007, providing an extensive list of damage in the country. It stated that 20,300 homes were destroyed and "several hundred" people had died, as well as damage to "223,000 hectares of farmland, 300 bridges, 200 mining pits, 82 reservoirs and 850 power lines."
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