A North Korean propaganda newspaper has used a spate of police killings of black Americans to accuse the United States of being the world’s worst violator of human rights.
The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, made the charge on Wednesday in a report on the “merciless murder” of Walter Scott by a white police officer in South Carolina earlier this month.
“Where in the world can you find such a corrupt policeman?” the article reads, referencing the apparent attempt of the police officer to plant a taser next to the body to stage a struggle. The piece accuses police in the United States of wildly killing innocent people.
The article then refers to the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin, both of whom were unarmed. The shootings, which occurred in August and March, respectively, sparked widespread controversy and furious protest in the United States.
The Rodong Sinmun previously reported on the killing of Scott about a week after he was shot on April 4. The latest article omits the date of the shooting and provides no explanation for its timing, but comes less than three weeks after the death of Freddie Gray, who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore. The Wednesday report, however, makes no mention of this most recent controversial death involving U.S. police and an African American.
Later, the piece draws attention to the alleged rape of a woman in Italy by two U.S. soldiers last year to accuse the country of disregarding human rights abroad.
“The more the United States talks, the more it cries out for the protection of human rights,” Rodong Sinmun says, “but it can’t hide its identity as the world’s biggest destroyer of human rights.”
North Korea’s propaganda organs often use controversial news events in the United States as a stick to bash its rival. State media jumped on Ferguson to label the country racist, despite previously referring to U.S. President Barack Obama as “having the figure of a monkey while the human race has evolved through millions of years.”
Lim Jae-cheon, an associate professor at the department of North Korean studies at Korea University, told The Diplomat that the Rodong Sinmun regularly features U.S. news to lambaste the country.
“As usual, its aim is to articulate the negative nature of American imperialism and capitalism,” said Lim. “North Korea might consider the Baltimore incident as a good subject in revealing the negative American nature.”