A new exhibition at the British Library in London from 17 May to 17 September 2013 considers the role of propaganda, power and persuasion in the age of Twitter. On this Sunday, Ronan Thomas conducts a historical tour for readers of The Globalist.

State propaganda is a fact of life for many in 2013. Just ask South Koreans. Orwellian press offices in neighboring Pyongyang regularly issue a constant flow of invective, which at times becomes a torrent heading north to south.

North Korea launched a satellite last year on December 12, 2012, conducted a third nuclear test on February 12, 2013 and threatened to attack the United States with nuclear weapons.

The North Koreans' usual condemnation of the South and its allies rose to new intensity following joint military exercises it didn't like during March to April this year.

The familiar outpourings of DPRK television news announcers were followed in April by the movement of missiles and closure of the Kaesong joint industrial complex.

Next came the unveiling in Pyongyang of two huge bronze new statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on April 15 to mark the 101st anniversary of the former leader's birth.

"So what's new?" or "Don't make me laugh" or "It's the usual propaganda" came the responses from several South Korean, British and American television commentators, when asked in April for their reaction to the North's threatening rhetoric.

Instead, BBC News reported in April that more South Koreans were worried about the quality of local K-Pop star Psy's new single than Kim Jong-un's threatened missile release.

Yet the power of propaganda continues to inform global international relations. [continue]

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Tags: propaganda, war

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