21.12.22 14:12:45
Vol. 36-2 (August 2021)Ups and Downs: An Analysis of Chinese Image in North Korean Media Based on China-related Reports in Rodong Sinmun from 2009–2020


Over the past 71 years, the development of relations between China and North Korea has experienced ups and downs. The image of China in the North Korean media is also complicated and changeable, reflecting changes in China–North Korea relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Due to the lack of international transparency in North Korea, the analysis of China-related reports by North Korean media has more reference value. This text analyzes the China-related reports in the North Korean mainstream mediaRodong Sinmunfrom 2009 to 2020, and systematically analyzes the main content, reporting trends, changing characteristics, and influencing factors of the North Korean media reports in the past decade. I believe that, since 2009, the North Korean media-related reports have shown that political topics are the most prevalent topics and that cultural exchanges are increasing, while reports on the economy, science and technology, and education continue to decrease. The reports gradually began to pay attention to environmental problems and social events in China. This report on China has shown a general trend – using a deep interpretation to shallow interpretation, then to a multi-angle deep exploration – that the perception of China has been changing from one of intimacy to indifference and then sublimation to the “traditional friendly sincere country.” Subsequently, the image of China inRodong Sinmunlacks comprehensiveness and objectivity. It focuses more on explaining and propagating the policies and lines of the Workers’ Party of North Korea. The change in China–North Korea relations is the most important factor affecting North Korean media coverage about China. Whenever relations between China and North Korea deteriorate, North Korea makes clear its displeasure with China and sharply curbs its coverage of China. And in every crisis between China and North Korea, North Korea has always maintained relations through the “traditional” way. This once again proves that the two countries are each other's important strategic partners and both sides have realized each other's strategic value.

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