DON’T MERCILESSLY SMASH AMERICA ANYMORE – As I cautioned before, it’s way too early to hand out Nobel Peace Prize, but this is an interesting development nevertheless:

Over the past few months, it seems, North Korea’s propaganda has been changing its tune.

Banners and posters displayed across the capital and other towns have typically featured the US as a brutal imperialist aggressor and South Korea or Japan as Washington’s willing allies.

But visitors to the country say they’ve seen those posters replaced by propaganda pushing economic progress and the inter-Korean rapprochement.

Leading newspapers in the tightly controlled country have also seen a shift in tone, a sign the country is starting to reflect its recent diplomatic thaw to the people…

Foreign guides who take tour groups into the closed country say that in recent months, the propaganda narrative has taken a distinctive turn.

In place of the aggressive rhetoric, there is now a focus on more positive messages, praising the Panmunjom Declaration signed at the inter-Korean summit, for example.

“All the anti-American posters I usually see around Kim Il-sung Square and at shops, they’ve all just gone,” Rowan Beard, a tour manager at Young Pioneer Tours, told the Reuters news agency.

“In five years working in North Korea, I’ve never seen them completely disappear before.”

Of course, the new posters are just as much propaganda as the old ones, but they highlight different themes: reunification of the Koreas, economic progress and scientific achievement.

Considering so many Koreans were forced to eat grass not that long ago, economic progress and scientific achievement are pretty good objectives to aim for.