41 and Park Chung-hee), had actually made a “proposal that was not a proposal at all.” These shows are fascinating for a whole host of reasons. First, al- though it was not polite, it was also not overtly offensive about Pres- ident Park. This was refreshing since the state media has excelled itself this calendar year, calling her variously a “bitch,” a “witch,” a “whore” and a “political prostitute,” not to mention stating that the sinking of the Sewol passenger ferry with the loss of 300 lives was entirely her doing, thus making her the “owner of a grave keeper’s cottage.” Second, it stuck mostly to the topic, something of which state news agency KCNA can rarely be accused; and third, the most unusual aspect of all, it even presented coherent arguments about why the Dresden Declaration was inappropriate. Throw in a soupcon of transparent relativism and a huge chunk of hopelessly distorted logic, mix and serve. And what was said? The North Korean argument is long-held, and simple. It proceeds from the presumption that denuclearization does not begin at home; rather, it begins in Washington. Pyongyang pretends to think President Park ought to be pushing the United States to denuclearize (some years ago, Kim Jong-il admitted pri- vately that this demand is just propaganda). In addition, they assert that Park ought to worry about getting her own proverbial house in order rather than criticizing theirs. On this point, they think she should address South Korea’s admittedly problematic suicide rate (South Korea is, according to one of the participating experts, the “Kingdom of Suicide”) and acquiesce to the ardent wish of all Korean people by putting a halt to U.S.-ROK joint military exercises. Finally, she should tear down the wall put up by her father, who was supposedly inspired to erect a barrier the entire width of the Korean Peninsula by his own formative experiences of the Berlin Wall. (That this wall doesn’t actu- ally exist is not permitted to get in the way of the narrative.) There is something quite compelling about all this. It is easy to see why they could have an impact on the target domestic audience. Not because you can sympathize to some degree with an argument about imbalanced denuclearization, although that is also true. Rath- er, it relates to a much broader point, one that friends from North Korea make repeatedly when we discuss cultural issues. “If you don’t have a comparison point,” one put it best, “you cannot and do not compare.” For another, it’s a case of “when there’s so little electricity and so little television to watch, you take in everything no matter what it is.” You can see a similar process at work in lots of different contexts. For instance, interviewed about the demise of 1990s Britpop band Oasis, for instance, guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher once commented that he, a working-class lad from Hulme, a sink estate of public housing in Manchester, never thought success could come his way. Why? “Where I come from it didn’t happen to people like me. How could it possibly happen? There was nobody like me on TV.” All the more reason, then, to support activities that broadcast an alternative viewpoint to that of the North Korean state media. After all, who wants to see the discourse dominated by a media organiza- tion that is guilty of calling U.S. President Obama “a monkey” with “revolting facial features” who should “live in an African zoo”? No word yet on what Kim Jong-un’s good pal Dennis Rodman makes of that sentiment. The noninteractive nature of the shows is enhanced by the design of the studio environment: the chairs are lined up in a row, facilitating no dialogue, only declarations. Where my child’s smile is concerned, I want the best. Any father would feel the same. Pediatric dentistry & Orthodontics for all ages ExpEriEncE rEputation rEsults Give your children the smiles they deserve 71-9, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 강남구 청담동 71-9 청담 IVY 교정전문클리닉 www.ivysmile.kr 02.518.2722 U.S. Certifed Orthodontic Specialist Member of American Dental Association TRICARE Dental Program Preferred Provider Assistance with all dental insurance paperwork > Dr.Jay H Kim D.M.D., M.S. US-Trained and licensed dentist Member of American Dental Association > Dr. David John Choie D.M.D fnd us at FB “ivy dentalclinic” Chungdam IVY ORTHODONTICS VIPS HONDA Hotel Riviera COEX Sinsa Stn. Gangnam-gu Offce Line7 Cheongdam Stn. EXIT 12 IVY Dental Clinic