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In North Korea, the state-run news agency is the weapon of choice

• Chico Harlan via The Washington Post
 North Korea has kept this region on edge in recent weeks primarily by using its weapon of choice in times of warmongering: the state-run news agency.

The massive wire service, known as the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), serves as the primary mouthpiece for the North’s authoritarian government, lauding upticks in factory production, documenting the arrival of floral baskets for the ruling Kims and occasionally warning about possible nuclear strikes on neighbors.

But the agency also serves a broader purpose, setting the mood for a nation — and changing that mood at the direction of the nation’s leaders.

Analysts and several defectors who have worked in the North Korean media say any message published by the agency is part of an elaborately coordinated effort that requires much the same work as a screenplay. Although the North is popularly portrayed as a loose cannon operated at the whims of young leader Kim Jong Un, those familiar with the North’s media say the messages come from a slow-grinding process involving dozens of meetings and thousands of people — strategists, storytellers, ideological advisers and journalists.

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