The New York Times, by its own admission, mistook a parody Twitter account for the reclusive North Korean regime Tuesday.
The New York Times fell into a trap that has claimed a number of reporters writing on North Korea, the inclusion of reports from the DPRK News Service into articles. Writing on North Korea’s new ICBM, NYT attributed a tweet to the North Korean government.
The tweet appears as follows:
Imbecilic Americans drunkenly fire missiles into East Sea of Korea, demonstrating near total ignorance of ballistic science. pic.twitter.com/Yye1Kksvh7
— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) July 4, 2017
“Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article attributed incorrectly a Twitter statement to the North Korean government,” NYT said in a correction. “The North Korean government did not belittle a joint American-South Korean military exercise as ‘demonstrating near total ignorance of ballistic science,” that statement was from the DPRK News Service, a parody Twitter account.”
The DPRK News Service claims to be the “official News feed of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea,” but the account is run by two Americans — Patrick and Derrick, according to The Washington Post.
Over the years, a number of news outlets, including Newsweek, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and others have mistaken the parody account as a form of North Korean state media, like the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
USA Today, one of the most circulated newspapers in the U.S., cited the DPRK News Service in an attack on President Donald Trump’s selection of Rick Perry for secretary of energy in December. The article claimed that the pick “drew scorn from the nation of North Korea,” but the citation was the parody Twitter account mocking the rhetoric of the North Korean government.
“Donald Trump minister of nuclear weapons Richard Perry known as governor of Texas province, famed for its production of tacos and bumpkins,” the DPRK News Service jokingly wrote, fooling some into believing that the North Korean regime was actually criticizing Trump’s energy secretary selection.
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