Propaganda with purpose: uncovering patterns in North Korean Nuclear Coverage, 1997–2012

Timothy Rich
Content Type
Journal Article
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
Issue Number
Publication Date
September 2014
Japan Association of International Relations
What explains patterns in North Korea's own coverage of nuclear issues? The conventional wisdom assumes that North Korea focuses its attention on the United States and that changes in the administrations in the United States and South Korea influence such rhetoric, yet this remains largely untested. Content analysis using daily English news reports from the Korean Central News Agency from 1997 through 2012 provides an explicit base for how the regime attempts to frame nuclear issues for a foreign audience. References to the United States positively correlate with nuclear reference while findings regarding US and South Korean administrations conflict with the conventional wisdom. References to the Kims also negatively correlate with nuclear references with variation after Kim Jong Il's death. More broadly this analysis suggests the possible leverage of analyzing North Korea's own materials.
Political Geography
United States, South Korea, North Korea