New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, on Friday parroted that the North Korean propaganda and talking points that alleged hordes of North Koreans have surged to sign up for the military after President Trump’s speech to the UN, in which he insulted Kim Jong Un as, “little rocket man.”
Kristof posted on Instagram that “every kid” at the high school in North Korea “supposedly signed up to join the army after the Trump speech to the U.N,” in which Trump threatened to, “totally destroy North Korea.”
“They said they’ll keep studying until war breaks out, which some say could happen any time,” the New York Times columnist gushed. “It’s all part of a mass ideological mobilization—yet here the kids are still practicing their singing. At a factory, the manager likewise told me that all 1,500 employees had signed up for the army in Monday, yet they were still at work.”
Kristof’s comments echo propaganda that North Korea produced in response to Trump’s speech in which they claim nearly 5 million North Korean citizens—men, women, and children—have already offered to join or re-enlist in the Korean People’s Army.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency said that about 4.7 million devout “students and workers” have “volunteered” to join the military to prepare for war against the U.S. However, in the communist dictatorship, where military service is required – this means very little. In August, for instance, the government said that almost 3.5 million people volunteered to join or re-join the army after the U.N. imposed more and newer sanctions on North Korea.
Neither Kristof nor the North Korea’s official media noted that it is already mandatory for most North Korean citizens, including women, to serve in their military. Men must serve at least 10 years, and women must join for at least seven years, according to press reports. Whereas, all school children would have to eventually serve in the military.
Soldiers in North Korea undergo severe and harsh conditions and are only given two or three potatoes a meal, or are fed only on raw corn kernels or corn rice to enhance their training to undergo tough situations. However, that is simply an excuse, as the country can barely feed itself – and regularly suffers from yearlong famins.
Another reporter, Lachlan Markay bashed Kirstof’s social media post on Twitter, saying that Kristof was “parroting the DPRK propaganda.” He noted, “All North Koreans, men and women, are conscripted … Trump’s speech had nothing to do with it.”