Skip to main content

North Korean Media Diplomacy: From Rocket Man to the Red Carpet

  • 141 Accesses

Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy book series (GPD)

Abstract

North Korea began its metamorphosis from a desperately poor “Hermit Kingdom” in 2011 and evolved into a major proliferator of nuclear weapons by 2017. As the United States and its allies demanded a halt to its missile testing, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump began tossing word grenades with an intensity that alarmed many around the world. In 2018, Kim abruptly went on a “charm offensive”: he sent his sister to the Olympics, flattered Trump, attended several peace summits, and claimed he halted missile production. This study analyzes the impact of this strategic communication plan by content analyzing conversations on the Twitter platform for both threat and risk assessments, and by examining the networks of message amplification. The cleaned data set included 3377 tweets for analysis. Trump and his supporters dominated this mediascape by controlling the volume of messages, however, Kim’s media diplomacy efforts succeeded in shifting the global conversation to the new, less threatening Kim. His shift in strategic communication was seen by many as brilliant theater as the statesman-like drama of the summit lowered the perceived risk of his missile program while he continued to grow his arsenal of nuclear weapons. Now that is diplomacy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-70167-3_3
  • Chapter length: 30 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-70167-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 3.1
Fig. 3.2
Fig. 3.3
Fig. 3.4
Fig. 3.5
Image 3.1
Fig. 3.6
Image 3.2
Image 3.3

Notes

  1. 1.

    A term used to denote a strategic campaign to sway someone by treating them very well (Sonnevend, 2019). Often used in casual conversations about a duplicitous person, its use in international diplomacy is first documented in a 1956 Sacramento Bee article quoting a U.S. general about not taking Russia for granted according to The Phrase Finder (2018). More recently it has been used in many articles and books to describe China’s increasing use of soft power approaches.

  2. 2.

    The Ministry of Public Diplomacy in China states that the Chinese people are their primary audience.

  3. 3.

    These graphs are interactive so they are easier to work with on the screen than might be imagined from the images in the book.

References

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Patricia Riley .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Riley, P., Baik, J.(., Curran, N.M., Kim, H.T.(. (2021). North Korean Media Diplomacy: From Rocket Man to the Red Carpet. In: Hollihan, T.A. (eds) Diplomatic and Mediated Arguments in the North Korean Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70167-3_3

Download citation