Flipping the North Koreans off (via Iconic Photos)

A show of defiance ! The way rival countries play the propaganda game fascinates me.

When the Iranian scientist, apparently a nuclear scientist who had something to do with the Iranian nuclear program was abducted by the Americans with help from the Saudis when he was on a pilgrimage tour to Saudi Arabia, and then resurfaced online from the US, the Americans claimed that he had willingly defected to the US  ( via ABC news ). A slap in the face of the Iranians. The Iranians of course claimed that he was abducted and held against his will in the US as they tried to extract nuclear secrets out of this man.

Turns out that this is an old game with the US itself being at the receiving end in the cold war era. North Korea abducted US spies in the 1960s. And then North Korea played the same game the Americans did with the Iranian scientist – it tried to claim that the US spies willingly defected to it.  It released pictures and letters that proved this point, just as the US managed to release another video of the Iranian scientist talking about his defection to the US and working with them against Iran.

Of course, all these supposed defection ‘confessions’ were made under duress by the captives. But the US spies still tried to make a point – in many such propaganda pictures released by North Korea, they managed to raise their middle finger, trying to subtly send a message beyond what they were forced to say and appear as.

A fun read !

Flipping the North Koreans off Not many people visit North korea these days but if you are one of the lucky few, more likely than not you will be led through an official guided tour of USS Pueblo – an American Intelligence vessel captured in 1968 – which remains the only American vessel currently in captivity. The seizure of USS Pueblo is now one of the forgotten episodes of the Cold War. The U.S. claimed it was in the international waters, while the D.P.R.K. insisted that it … Read More


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