Does the AP Realize That North Korea Is a Dictatorship?

January 6th, 2009 12:25 AM

Evidently, not until the 10th paragraph of this puff piece about a pro-government rally (is there any other kind in Pyongyang?) that attracted conscripted 100,000 hapless souls.  Here's how it starts:

Tens of thousands of North Koreans rallied in Pyongyang in a display of might and loyalty underscoring their government's guiding "military first" principal amid tensions with rival South Korea.

The government mobilized 100,000 North Koreans for Monday's annual New Year's rally, which honors leader Kim Jong Il and reaffirms full public support for his rule in the year ahead.

Pumping their right fists in unison, they marched through Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung plaza pledging their loyalty, some waving huge red flags as top officials watched from a viewing stand.

Gee, do you think maybe their participation was...coerced?  Eventually, in paragraph 10, we find out that North Korea is a "totalitarian state."

Who knew?