Extra! Korea

June 18, 2009

Word of the Day: Calumny

Filed under: languages, North Korea — extrakorea @ 1:53 am

Thanks to ROK Drop, we now know why North Korea sentenced two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, to twelve years in prison.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested in March for “having illegally trespassed into the border of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and committed hostile acts against it for which they were tried.” They were sentenced after a closed-door trial. The reporters for California-based Current TV — a media venture of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore — were arrested while reporting on the border shared by North Korea and China.

Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday that the two women “admitted that what they did were criminal acts committed, prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies at it.”

You have to admit, North Koreans sometimes write much better English than their southern counterparts. A similar dispatch coming out of the south might have read something like:

Two of American journalists were been arrested inside of the South Korea. They are liars about our country, so even though they are pretty girls, we give them big punishment. (^.^) Do you know South Korea? We are make the Samsung and Hyundai. Oh yea ~ ~ ~.

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1 Comment »

  1. Yes, South Korean English journalism can have its flaws, but I think your depiction is excessively harsh. North Korea’s press release is just as bad as what I’ve read here. I’ve identified several fatal errors. Don’t be fooled just because they used a big word you had to look up.

    Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested in March for “having illegally trespassed into the border of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and committed (this should be ‘committing’ in order to agree with the tense established previously) hostile acts against it (‘it’ here is a dangling participle…this is horribly bad journalism) for which they were tried.” They were sentenced after a closed-door trial. The reporters for California-based Current TV — a media venture of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore — were arrested while reporting on the border shared by North Korea and China.

    Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday that the two women “admitted that what they did were criminal acts committed (admitted that what they did were criminal acts committed? I mean, give me a break! This is pure shite), prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up (not down?) moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies (and actually calumnies here is redundant – this is English at its worst) at it.”

    Comment by Scott Stout — June 18, 2009 @ 1:03 pm


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