North Korean media reports in detail on South's election

[As Heard in North Korea]
Kang Mi Jin  |  2017-05-15 13:18

"As Heard in North Korea" articles contain radio programming content broadcast by Unification Media Group [UMG], an independent multimedia consortium targeting North Korean citizens.

The North Korean state media announced Moon Jae Ins victory in the South Korean presidential election only two days after the event. The state-sanctioned information provided to the domestic audience is more specific compared to the last election, drawing speculation as to why this might be the case.   

On May 11, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and the Pyongyang Broadcasting Station detailed the results of South Koreas 19th presidential election. State media outlets informed residents about Moon Jae-ins victory only two days after the election was held on May 9. On May 12, the Rodong Sinmun [North Koreas Party-run publication] also published the news. 

Of particular note is that coverage of this election has been much more thorough than the coverage of South Koreas 18th presidential election in 2013. Park Geun Hyes name wasnt even mentioned in the previous election outcome, with only a terse statement noting that, the candidate from the New Frontier Party won the election. This time around, however, it was announced that Minjoo Party candidate Moon Jae-in claimed 41% of the polling rate and was elected the 19th President of South Korea.   

The media outlets in question introduced the candidates running for office, noting that 13 candidates are running for office including Minjoo Party Candidate Moon Jae In, Peoples Party Candidate Ahn Cheol Soo, < > Candidate Hong Joon Pyo, and < > Candidate Yoo Seung Min, Justice Party Candidate Sim Sang Jung, etc. In addition to the unprecedented level of detail provided, observers have also pointed out the special punctuation marks (<< >>) used to emphasize the conservative political parties. Because North Korea typically criticizes the South Korean government, the usage of these punctuation marks is interpreted as a criticism of right-leaning parties.    

In addition, North Korean broadcasters added, An early election was convened after the former puppet state president Park Geun Hye committed unprecedented violations, resulting in continuous demands from the South Joseon people for her impeachment. Parks conservative government instituted a comparatively strong North Korea policy, drawing hostility from the North Korean media. The coverage also emphasized that the incoming administration was on the liberal side of the political spectrum. South Koreas Unification Ministry announced on May 12th that North Korea has expressed interest in the election of the new South Korean government.  

While the North Korean media did not announce any new positions about the North-South relationship, the Rodong Sinmun published an article on May 11th which said, It is time to open a new page on the unification of the homeland by holding hands as companions in unification, improving North-South ties, and engaging in mutual respect. After the 1992 and 1997 South Korean election results were released, the North Korean state media also stated that it was important to improve relations, saying that there are "mounting tasks to be accomplished in the North-South relationship.  

*Edited by Lee Farrand

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