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CNN Portrays North Korea as Misunderstood, Victim of U.S.-Led Sanctions

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | July 5, 2017 | 4:30 PM EDT

North Koreans celebrate their supreme leader's success.

CNN’s Will Ripley empathizes with North Korea’s side of things in two short videos on CNN.com, suggesting the communist country is misunderstood and mistreated by the U.S.

In “What it's really like to be inside North Korea,” CNN’s Will Ripley – who has visited North Korea 11 times – portrays the country as a place where leaders are viewed in “the highest possible esteem,” not as the outside world stereotypes them:

“This is a society that is built up around its leadership; they hold their leaders up to the highest possible esteem. And, that is very much in contrast to the view from the outside world, that North Korea is erratic, unpredictable and moving on a dangerous path as they continue to nuclearize.”

Ripley describes North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, as a city with an “increasingly modern skyline” filled with music and celebration, day and night:

“You hear music playing on loudspeakers throughout the city all day. In the morning to wake people up, in the evening to put them to bed at night. There is patriotic music, people are marching, they’re practicing for these huge mass celebrations that they often do for national holidays or to celebrate the achievements of their leader.”

What’s more, all North Koreans say they have complete confidence in their leader, Kim Jong-un, who has “supreme power”:

“North Korea is one the only places in the world where, no matter who you ask, at least publicly, you will never hear political dissent, everybody will say they are one hundred percent behind their supreme leader.

In his follow-up video, “Why does North Korea hate the US?,” Ripley says that North Korea is still fighting the Korean War because “Technically, the war is still ongoing, because no peace treaty was ever signed.”

But, North Koreans also hate the United States because of America’s attacks on the communist country’s economy, “blaming the U.S. for international sanctions they claim have caused North Korea’s economic woes, making America into an ever-present threat.”

What’s more, Ripley argues, American leaders’ efforts to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions only increase hatred of the U.S.:

“Recent escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang only help promote that narrative.”

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