I fake-interviewed a real North Korea propaganda book. Here’s what it told me.

Americans have preconceptions of what North Korea is like — militant, reclusive, and oppressive. But we don’t really understand what North Korea’s vision of America is. How do they view our government, our policies, and our history?

One way to answer this lies in the propaganda that shapes public opinion in North Korea. In the closed, authoritarian society, the regime is the only consistent source of information for the public.

As it happens, I recently acquired a very real North Korea propaganda book, authored by three state-sanctioned North Korean academics. Titled The US Imperialists Started the Korean War, the book is a sweeping indictment of American aggression, arguing that the US provoked the Korean War in the 1950s as part of a much broader strategy of post-WWII global domination.

That war pitted communist North Korea, backed by the Soviet Union and later China, against South Korea, backed by the United States. It started when the North invaded the South on June 25, 1950. It was a bloody war that ultimately killed some five million soldiers and civilians. At the war’s end in 1953, the two countries became separated by a demilitarized zone, or DMZ, and remain so to this day.

The book’s prose is awful and the claims are wildly overstated, but it offers a revealing look at how US foreign policy is perceived from the perspective of the North Korean regime — and North Korean citizens, who are fed this propaganda.

Much of it is false, some of it is true, and deciding which is which is not as easy as you might expect.

Still, I decided to do a mock interview with this North Korean propaganda book. I drafted questions and paired them with lightly edited Read More Here