ltmurnau: (CX)
This is simultaneously too good to be true and possibly entirely true.
Clueless commentary on Laibach's history and intentions aside, here it is in the press.
I just hope nothing happens to the people in the DPRK who organized this - it's a bigger prank than Stephen Colbert's "in-persona" speech at the White House Correspondent's dinner, with greater consequences.

North Korea gig comes natural for Slovenian conceptual band Laibach
JULY 21, 2015 09:29 AM
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia - For a band inspired by art in totalitarian regimes, a gig in North Korea is a dream come true.
Slovenia's Laibach recently announced it will play two concerts in Pyongyang next month. The group is known for music described as a mixture of industrial rock and retro electronic, and for its use of authoritarian imagery, such as Soviet-era symbols, marches and dark uniforms.
The tour will coincide with the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonization, and will include Laibach's own music as well as popular Korean songs, one of the band's founders, producer and spokesman Ivan Novak, told The Associated Press.
"Originally, we invited ourselves and then they invited us," Novak said.
Formed in 1980, when Slovenia was still part of Communist-run Yugoslavia, Laibach immediately stirred controversy with its name — German for Slovenia's capital city Ljubljana — and because it used a black cross as one of its symbols.
This alone was enough for an official ban by the regime born out of anti-fascist struggle during World War II. Laibach were still allowed occasional concerts until, in 1983, they locked the door of a concert hall and played the sound of a dog barking extremely loudly for almost half an hour.
For the next few years, Laibach concerts moved abroad. The group's visual style included wearing military uniforms on stage and toying with socialist and populist imagery while playing almost martial-style songs, sung in a husky, deep voice.
The band has six members, but only two — including Novak, who will be 57 in August, singer Milan Fras, a couple of years younger — have been there from the early years. Fras joined in 1983 after Laibach's first singer committed suicide.
Despite being criticized as too dark, the band has always insisted that it is exploring the relation between ideology, politics and art. One of its main slogans states that "art and totalitarianism do not exclude each other."
Over the years, Laibach has gained an important place on Slovenia's art scene. The band's retrospective currently is part of an exhibition of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (New Slovenian Art) movement at the Modern Gallery in Ljubljana.
Laibach members are professional musicians, some of whom teach music or take part in various art projects. Laibach has held more than 800 concerts throughout the world, while gigs at home are usually sold out, drawing up to few thousand people in a country of 2 million.
Novak said the band has always wanted to visit North Korea and remembers clearly the visit in 1977 to the country by then Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito. Novak rejected the possibility that the trip will amount to political support for the North Korean communist regime, viewed as an isolationist dictatorship in the West.
"We never support the regime anywhere where we perform ... but we do support the people who live there," Novak said. He explained that the band has found inspiration for its art in the country, citing events where people fill stadiums and hold up colorful cards in carefully choreographed displays to create giant images.
"All Korea is practicing superb pop art. Superb," he said. "From the point of view of art history, they should actually protect the whole country, they should put it in a museum of pop art."
Laibach concerts are planned Aug. 19 and 20 for an audience of 1,000 each day. Several pop singers and bands from South Korea have performed in the north in the past, while British singer David Thomas Broughton has said he performed once for expats in North Korea. Laibach's performance, however, will mark the first encounter with a visually charged band from the West.
"We will adjust and adapt our program to the Korean situation and audience," Novak said. "We will perform a gentle version of Laibach."
Jovana Gec contributed from Belgrade, Serbia; Tong-hyung Kim and Hyung-jin Kim contributed from Seoul, South Korea.
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Well, this about says it all:

December 19. 2011 (Juche 100)

Notice to All Party Members, Servicepersons and People

Pyongyang, December 19 (KCNA) -- The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK on Saturday announced the following notice to all party members, servicepersons and people:

The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK notify with bitterest grief to all the party members, servicepersons and people of the DPRK that Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, passed away of a sudden illness at 08: 30 on December 17, Juche 100 (2011) on his way to field guidance.

Read more... )
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News from the Hermit Kingdom:

Guidelines for Juche-based Dancing Art

Pyongyang, November 30 (KCNA) -- Twenty years has elapsed since General Secretary Kim Jong Il published a famous work, "Theory of Dancing Art", on November 30, Juche 79 (1990).

The work formulates the distinctive character and basic mission of the dancing art and the orientation of its development newly elucidated by the Juche idea. It also gives principles and ways of applying them to dance creation and performance and expounds all theoretical and practical issues arising in perfecting and fully introducing Korean-style dance notation.

Since the work was published, the originality and validity of Kim Jong Il's idea and theory on the Juche-based dancing art have been fully demonstrated, many famous dance pieces created and the dance notation brought to perfection.

Grand gymnastic and artistic performances "Ever-victorious Workers' Party of Korea" and "Arirang" were created as masterpieces and the folk dance suites "Song of the Seasons" and "People in the Walled City of Pyongyang", dance suite "Army and People United in One Mind around the Leader", dances "I Can Still See Victory in the Revolution!" and "We Will Never Give up Even an Inch of Our Land" and many other dance works of various themes and forms produced on the basis of national customs, grandiose current of the times and the heroic struggle of the Korean people.

The dance notation has become smaller in number of notes and easier to understand the composition and combination of dance movements in a theoretical way and note them.

Thanks to Kim Jong Il's outstanding idea and theory, the dancing art of Korea has developed into a Juche-based, revolutionary one based on national dance style and the people's life.


But what they meant was really this:

ltmurnau: (Default)
Just because we haven't had any DPRK news lately...

People's Security Ministry Gives Performances

Pyongyang, December 8 (KCNA) -- Performances were given by the art squad of the Ministry of People's Security in different cities and counties of North Phyongan and Jagang Provinces.

The performances were enjoyed by leading officials of party, power and economic bodies and working people's organizations and working people of different strata in local areas.

Put on the stages of the performances which began with mixed chorus "We Have Longed for You, General" were colorful pieces demonstrating the might of the interior forces that have grown strong under the leadership of the great brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu and firmly defended the forefront of the class struggle, glorifying the tradition of devotedly defending the leader for over six decades.

The performers impressively represented their great honor and self-respect as people's security men who live and struggle as revolutionary soldiers faithful to the party and the leader and reliable defenders of the people in such numbers as real story "Echo of Life", Oungum ensemble "The General Star beyond the Clouds" and trumpet and female solo "Soldiers Live near the General".

They showed well the firm faith and will of the people's security men to share intention and destiny with Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il and breathe the same air with him for all ages as well as to successfully fulfill the mission and duty as frontline unit in the class struggle in such pieces as male guitar quintet ensemble "Let's Defend Socialism" and choral recitation of poem "Long Journey for Devotedly Defending the Leader".

They also gave a performance at the construction site of Huichon Power Station No. 2.

Call up the Art Squad!
Those lucky sods at Power Station #2, they get all the perks... but I guess they were all pulled off the job to see the performance:

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Dancing Parties of Youth and Students Held

Pyongyang, April 10 (KCNA) -- Dancing parties of youth and students were held in different parts of the country on Wednesday on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of General Secretary Kim Jong Il's election as chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission.
Plazas of the Tower of the Juche Idea, the Monument to Party Founding, the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium and other places of the capital turned into veritable seas of dancing youth and students greatly excited and pleased to recollect the days when the whole country was immensely rejoiced at the election of Kim Jong Il, great brilliant commander of Songun, as chairman of the NDC.
They enthusiastically danced to the tune of songs including "Thunder on Jong Il Peak," "Our General Is Best," "Let's Sing of Our Pride of Being under the Guidance of the General," "Twelve Months for Songun Victory" and "Songun Nilliri."
Similar dancing parties took place in all provinces, cities and counties across the country.
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Kim Jong Il just LOVES his army; however, I remain convinced that a military coup or other form of revolt will unseat him.

Paternal Love of Supreme Commander for Soldiers
Pyongyang, December 24 (KCNA) -- Today, the soldiers of the Korean People's Army revere and follow Kim Jong Il rather as their father than as the Supreme Commander.
It is his view on comradeship that the soldiers are his precious revolutionary comrades who share the same idea and aim in the Songun revolution.
And no wonder he has visited so many heights and posts including Mt. Osong with over 150 turns on the road, and Panmunjom on the forefront, saying he should go wherever soldiers are. He crossed the long and stiff Chol Pass more than ten times and sailed to Cho Islet through roaring waves.
When he finds himself among soldiers, he takes a scrupulous care of their life from cultural and emotional activities to meals, showing them warmer affection than their own parents would. [emphasis added]
He took measures to let the soldiers have many photos taken so that they would be able to keep them long as mementos of their military service. When he visited a women's company in a deep valley, he took care that all conditions were taken so they could watch clear and clean TV scenes.
After listening to ordinary soldiers singing, he saw to it that their talent was brought into bloom. And, when he saw twelve pieces of pencil sketch "Soldier's Life" drawn by a private, he set off a new wave of cultural and emotional activities, "a sketch storm," all over the country.
Concerned even over the cold wind filtering through needle holes of soldiers' winter clothes, he took care that they were replaced with better ones. He acquaints himself with the room temperature and water quality while making a round of bedrooms, wash-cum-bath houses, kitchens, non-staple food stores and other supply facilities and teaches them food processing methods, too.
Immeasurable is the warmth of his parental love for the soldiers.
So the hearts of the KPA soldiers are aflame with the fervor to perform brilliant feats in the days of their military service under Kim Jong Il's Songun leadership on the 16th anniversary of the day when he was acclaimed as the supreme commander of the KPA (Dec. 24, 1991).


Going to the Fortified Compound on Pender Island for New Year's and the Magic Lake procession. Slator!
ltmurnau: (Default)
From the Korean Central News Agency, February 19, 2007:

Articles Posted on Internet in U.S. to Celebrate February Holiday

Pyongyang, February 17 (KCNA) -- The U.S. Group for the Study of Songun Politics posted articles including "In Celebration of February 16, birthday of Kim Jong Il" on the Internet homepage "Red Banner of Songun" on Feb. 5 and 9 on the occasion of the February holiday.
The articles said that Kim Jong Il put forward the People's Army as a main force for the revolution and provided Songun leadership, achieving a high level of army-people unity. He has steadfastly adhered to the revolutionary principles and working class stand despite difficult and complicated situation, firmly protecting the sovereignty and dignity of the country, the articles added.
Referring in detail to the fact that the Korean people are pushing ahead with the revolution and construction full of confidence of victory under his wise leadership, they stressed that the era of independence is making dynamic advance as Kim Jong Il is leading the anti-imperialist struggle on the principle of attaching priority to the military affairs.
They said that Kim Jong Il wrote the famous works "Socialism Is a Science," "Abuses of Socialism Are Intolerable" and "On Preserving the Juche Character and National Character of the Revolution and Construction," clearly indicating the way of smashing the imperialists' moves for "globalization."

The Chairman of the Study Group is one John Paul Cupp, a man who in his own words may be sincere but to most people would seem deeply disturbed:

"A nuclear bomb as if a miracle sent from heaven! I was in Pyongyang during the glorious and historic testing of a nuclear bomb and always will be enthusiastic about this occasion, because it defied the imperialists and the White House. This is an experience I will never forget. The Korean nation is deeply lauding the nuke-and-lifeline stance and looking up to Marshal Kim Jong Il for making it possible."

It's bizarre to read a native English speaker writing exactly like a DPRK news release, complete with the clunky grammar and jargon. The rest of his trip to the DPRK in 2006 is chronicled at His site,, seems to be updated fairly often.

I originally wrote about him the first time he was mentioned in the KCNA website in 2004, when he and his friend Travis were living in Oregon and describing themselves as activists in something called the Homeless Front. The two of them appear to be the entire membership of the Study Group. I don't think the North Koreans know this.

They still appear to be a secretive bunch: "Membership is by acceptance of the Chairman and General Secretary [Travis], only. However, visitation at such gatherings is open to all anti-imperialists wishing to build solidarity with the DPRK, help us plan events, organize cultural gatherings, and publish solidarity letters. If you are interested in attending one of our invitation only meetings, or would like to learn more about the Songun politics, contact the Chairman and General Secretary." See for a picture!

Oh, and still not a word on KCNA about the agreement to give up nuclear weapons in return for food and fuel. I thought they would say something, at any rate - they even made an elliptical reference to that giant train explosion near the Chinese border a year or two ago.
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Okay, first this.

Now criminals are stupid, at least the ones who get caught are, but this guy especially so - why end a string of successful bank robberies by holding up Spartacus Books, for goshsakes? Everyone knows they have maybe eight dollars in the till, on a good day...

Most wanted Vancouver bank robbery suspect arrested
Read more... )

Also This. I am CERTAIN that there's an MC 900 Foot Jesus song that describes this.

California man allegedly faked his own kidnapping to hide car crash from wife
Read more... )

AHA! YES! I was right, and it popped out first hit on Google!

Adventures In Failure

lyrics by MC 900 FOOT JESUS
Read more... )


And finally, here are selections from the news, from the official North Korean English-language news service, which has yet to breathe a word of the no-nukes-for-food deal. In all fairness, it is almost the Great Leader's birthday, which is the February holiday they allude to.

Read more... )

I always wondered if there was a word for that card-flipping thing they do.


Oct. 10th, 2006 07:21 pm
ltmurnau: (Default)
DPRK Successfully Conducts Underground Nuclear Test

Pyongyang, October 9 (KCNA) -- The Korean Central News Agency released the following report: The field of scientific research in the DPRK successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, Juche 95 (2006) at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great prosperous powerful socialist nation.

It has been confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under a scientific consideration and careful calculation.

The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defence capability.

It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."

And that's that about that.

In other news, we had a fun weekend with Angie visiting. I made a whole roast turkey and on Saturday we all went to Freedomkilts in Fernwood to get Lianne and Angie measured for their own kilts. Lianne is getting one in moss green and Angie is getting one in charcoal/black for more formal occasions.

The proprietor Steve noticed and liked the skeleton-piper casting Lianne was wearing on her coat, and I gave him a couple more. I also bought a pair of khaki hose, since my green ones are very old and getting full of holes.

Monday we stayed home except for getting some groceries - I made a huge kettle of turkey soup and worked on one of my three new game designs. It was nice to have some extra time off.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Folk Amusement Customs of Korean People in May

Pyongyang, May 24 (KCNA) -- The sagacious and civilized Korean nation has enjoyed many folk amusements peculiar to each month from ancient time. They used to play various folk games in May, the season of fresh verdure. Lantern play was famous in the Pyongyang area in the period of Koryo dynasty. It kicked off when darkness set in. Spectacular was the lantern amusement on the cross-roads in front of the Taedong Gate.
For the playing, two poles are planted and linked with a string on their tops. After tying various animal-shaped lanterns to the string, peoples loosen and tighten the string, enchanting spectators.
There is a play with cushion-candles. Pyongyangites make round straw cushions with candles set in the center and float hundreds of cushion-candles on the River Taedong. In this season, Korean women used to dye finger nails red with touch-me-not flower. They mashed petals of flowers along with alum or salt and put it on nails and wrapped them with bean or castor beam leaves. The practice, which shows the emotional feelings and tender heart of the Korean women, originated in the period of the Koryo dynasty and is done among women even today.
Rope jumping to the tune of songs is popular among girls. Such amusement can be seen in anywhere of the country.
The scene of children's rope jumping of the mass gymnastic and artistic performance "Arirang," the grand monumental masterpiece of the 21st century, stroke Korean and foreign viewers with admiration.
There are various amusements for children to cultivate their judgment, collectivism and physical strength. Among them are children's play of hitting a short wooden stick and horse riding with a stick.

(I am sure they can and do think of other games to play with sticks that reinforce judgement, collectivism and physical strength...)


Nov. 8th, 2005 09:31 am
ltmurnau: (Default)
From a list of titles allegedly used by “prominent leaders from 160 nations across the world” to refer to Kim Jong-Il, as announced last winter by North Korean state television.

The titles were translated from the Korean by Lee Jong-Heon.

Originally from Harper's Magazine, February 2005.

Supreme Commander at the Forefront of the Struggle Against Imperialism and the United States
Greatest Saint Who Rules with Extensive Magnanimity
Lode Star of the Twenty-First Century
Best Leader Who Realized Human Wisdom
Leader with Extraordinary Personality
Perfect Picture of Wisdom and Boldness
Eternal Bosom of Hot Love
Master of Literature, Arts, and Architecture
World’s Best Ideal Leader with Versatile Talents
Humankind’s Greatest Musical Genius
Master of the Computer Who Surprised the World
Man with Encyclopedic Knowledge
Guardian Deity of the Planet
Heaven-Sent Hero
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Greatest Man Who Ever Lived
Present-day God
World’s Greatest Writer
ltmurnau: (deutsche)
Well, so far I have missed every film I wanted to see in the Independent Film and Video Festival (will try to get tickets to see the Plympton and Zombie Nurse shows at Cinecenta tomorrow), but it could be worse:

Ten-day Film Show Opens

Pyongyang, February 9 (KCNA) -- A ten-day film show opened to celebrate the birthday of leader Kim Jong Il (February 16). Shown in this period will be Korean documentary films including "February 16, Greatest Holiday of Nation" and "Holding Great Brilliant Commander in High Esteem", which tell about the feats performed by Kim Jong Il leading the Songun revolution. To be screened also are feature films depicting the indomitable struggle of the Korean army and people such as "Battalion Commander of Ridge Chol," "People of Jagang Province" and "Ten Party Members Today."

An opening ceremony was held at the People's Palace of Culture Tuesday. Minister of Culture Choe Ik Gyu made an address at the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony the participants watched the documentary film "Bringing about Great Change in Fields on Outskirts of Pyongyang" and the feature film "Bouquet of Dandelion."

Oh yeah, and they have nuclear weapons too!

Meanwhile, here is a display of Kimjongilia, the special begonia that is North Korea's national flower:

Don't forget, February 16 is the Great Leader's birthday. Hmm, it's my goodie day at work that day, maybe I will bake a cake.
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It appears [ profile] seaofrain and I were misled by Big Poisonous Weeds:
Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)

And here [ profile] seaofrain and I thought that Kim's Personality Cult was on the way out. This is a piece from the Korean Central News Agency of the DPRK (

Kim Jong Il Praised by American

Pyongyang, November 23 (KCNA) -- John Paul Cupp, chairman of the U.S. Group for the Study of Songun Politics, on Nov. 9 posted an article titled "What a great man Comrade Kim Jong Il is" on the Internet homepage. He began his article by recalling the fact that a member of the National Democratic Front of south Korea, who had been arrested by fascists of south Korea, shouted "Long live Comrade Kim Il Sung!", "Long live Comrade Kim Jong Il!" and "Long live the Juche idea!" at the last moments of his life.
Read more... )

Link to the site:

They look like a secretive bunch: "Membership is by acceptance of the Chairman and General Secretary, only. However, visitation at such gatherings is open to all anti-imperialists wishing to build solidarity with the DPRK, help us plan events, organize cultural gatherings, and publish solidarity letters. If you are interested in attending one of our invitation only meetings, or would like to learn more about the Songun politics, contact the Chairman and General Secretary."

Read more... )
Boy, the things you can find when you're procrastinating....

[edit: I am NOT going out in that cold, slanty wetness falling from the sky.]


Apr. 1st, 2004 09:53 am
ltmurnau: (Default)
NO, no bourgeois practical joke amusement for you!

Why aren't you out doing something worthwhile with your lives, like these hard-working North Korean students:

Grand Chorus of Students in Pyongyang Held

Pyongyang, March 31 (KCNA) -- The grand chorus of students in Pyongyang "Korea, I Will Glorify Thee" was held in front of the main building of Kim Il Sung University on Mar. 30. The performance began with prologue "Historic Mt. Ryongnam" and the famous song "Korea, I Will Glorify Thee."

The audience was deeply moved by the wind-instrument music and chorus "We Will Follow Up the March that Started from Mt. Paektu," and mixed group singing and chorus "Song of the Movement for Reading 10,000 Pages" dealing with the immortal feats Kim Jong Il performed by helping the students grow up to be dependable intellectuals of the revolution for the rosy future of Kim Il Sung's Korea and leading them to study hard so as to demonstrate the might of the motherland with science and technology.

Quintet poem "Songun Brilliant Commander of Mt. Paektu," wind-instrument music and chorus "Our General Is the Great Brilliant Commander of Songun " and other numbers clearly proved that Kim Jong Il is, indeed, the illustrious commander born of Mt. Paektu as he instilled the spirit of giving importance to the army and the spirit of prizing arms into the students as early as when he was conducting revolutionary activities at Kim Il Sung University.

Also presented was the famous song "Dear General, Where Are You" in which the performers helped the audience renew their firm determination to successfully accomplish generation after generation the revolutionary cause of Juche under the Songun leadership of Kim Jong Il holding high the red flag of the revolution associated with the whole life of President Kim Il Sung.

The performance ended with wind-instrument music and chorus "We Will Defend the Headquarters of Revolution at the Cost of Our Lives."


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