The North Korean government appears to be erasing anti-American propaganda as leader Kim Jong Un moves to improve relations and take a role on the world stage, according to published reports.
What is happening?
North Korea is doing away with posters that described the U.S. as a “rotten, diseased, pirate nation," for example. In their place are messages touting prospects for a Korean reunification and the declaration Kim signed in April with South Korean President Moon Jae-in promising "lasting peace," the New York Post reported.
Earlier this month, Kim and President Donald Trump signed an agreement to work toward "lasting and stable peace."
There are other signs, as well.
"All the anti-American posters I usually see around Kim Il-sung Square and at shops, they’ve all just gone,” Rowan Beard, a tour manager at Young Pioneer Tours, told Reuters. “In five years working in North Korea, I’ve never seen them completely disappear before.”
Gone are the former posters and postcards that showed North Korean missiles soaring to Washington. And anti-American trinkets sold as souvenirs are being replaced with items that reflect Korean reunification, according to reports.
Often called the most isolated country in the world, few North Koreans ever see news and information from other nations. As a result, state propaganda heavily influences their views, Reuters noted.
Changes are also being noticed in North Korea’s government-controlled media.
News reports that once showed the U.S. as hostile are no longer playing center stage, according to reports. The main state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, for example, hasn’t featured a direct attack on Trump since March, when he agreed to meet with Kim.
How unusual is this?
Media has since been “filled with pictures of the two together at the summit, and is no longer reporting anti-U.S. news. Other international events, like Kim’s visit last week to China, are being reported right away, rather than after a waiting period, and in more neutral language,” The New York Post reported.
Peter Ward, North Korea expert and writer for NKNews told the BBC: “This is fascinating. Generally speaking, neutral or positive coverage is normally reserved for countries that Pyongyang has friendly relations with.”