In a blast from the past, rather than the typical missile test, North Korea grabbed attention via an unorthodox open letter to US President Barack Obama.
An official North Korean news site posted a fictitious letter from a former US president to President Obama. The letter captures the imaginary moral musings of Abraham Lincoln and his thoughts on how Mr. Obama is wrongly portraying North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and revealing the hypocrisy of the United States of America.
The letter, titled "Advice from Lincoln to Obama," begins:
I know you have a lot on your mind these days… I’ve decided to give you a little advice after seeing you lost in thought before my portrait during a recent Easter Prayer Breakfast.
Published by the less well known site North Korea Today, the letter adopts the voice and tone of Lincoln, if the 16th president had spoken Korean. It has been translated by the Associated Press.
As it continues, Lincoln takes a derisive tone toward Obama's attempts to build a nuclear-free world. It condemns the efforts as hypocritical as the United States has failed to scale back its own nuclear arsenal.
"If the United States, a country with the world's largest nuclear weapons stockpile, only pays lip service, like a parrot, and doesn't do anything actively, it will be a mockery to the entire world," the letter has Lincoln say.
The letter also paints North Korea as Lincoln's country of choice. A country where "the people are the owner," according to the Washington Post's translation.
"I said this once when I was alive, but I’ll say this once more. The government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth. This is the truth."
And although the current US president is the main target of the propaganda, the letter is able to simultaneously portray past presidents negatively while offering “"do what I say, not what I do" type advice.
"Hey, Obama, it's the 21st Century," the letter says. "The tactic by past American presidents, including me, who deceived the people ... is outdated. That doesn't work now. The world doesn't trust an America that doesn't take responsibility for what it says."
While a new and bizarre type of propaganda, the Lincoln letter is in line with North Korea's traditional tactic of increasingly hardline rhetoric toward the US and South Korea during tense times.
Continued nuclear weapon testing has further isolated the small country on the Korean peninsula, even from its own historic allies. Russia condemned North Korean threats of "preventive nuclear strikes" in March and China, North Korea’s largest trading partner, agreed to harsh sanctions last week.
This report includes material from The Associated Press.