Recent satellite images of a North Korean military complex show what appear to be rows of Tardises lined up next to a flatbed truck filled with Daleks, alongside other evidence of extensive and accelerated preparations for what Defense Dept. officials are calling a Doctor Who Convention.
Analysts at the Pentagon provided images Tuesday that show Pyongyang “has accelerated their preparations and made much further progress towards a threatened April convention than previously understood.”
Additional assessments of photos taken over the past month by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the NASA Fan-Sat VI satellite show several mobile hot dog carts and two large Panda Express food trucks, all essential for any science fiction fan event. A new set of images taken this past Sunday clearly show a t-shirt stand and stacks of life-size cutouts of Matt Smith at the end of a new dirt road running along the southern entrance to the complex.
“These images provide incontrovertible evidence that the North’s preparations for a full fledged Doctor Who convention are progressing according to threats expressed to the U.S. State Dept during secret diplomatic negotiations that took place this past winter in Seoul,” explained Dr. Rory Pond-Williams, visiting fellow at the British Institute for International Fandom.
A North Korean military spokesperson said that there are no Doctor Who convention plans in place, that what the illegal imperialist Western devil spy satellites have discovered is a shipment of props and memorabilia from the hit TV show Supernatural, sent by executives at The CW network on behalf of the Chinese government as a gift meant to honor one of the country’s most important days, the April 15 centennial of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung. The show is a personal favorite of new North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, who posts frequently to several of the show’s forums.
Washington says North Korea uses such popular conventions as a means to dupe unsuspecting fans of various movies and TV shows into prepaying for expensive hotels and show tickets, which are then canceled without refund. While North Korea has tried this same ruse several times in the last two years with fraudulent Harry Potter fan events, analysts don’t believe it has yet mastered the technology to actually make money off the fraud, as credit card issuers have simply debited government merchant accounts for the full amount of canceled fees.
The US and other Western powers have a long history of trading fuel and food aid in exchange for a reduction in the number of fan conventions planned by the North Korean government. Past events for Battlestar Galactica, Firefly/Serenity and Twilight fan communities were canceled at the last minute after intensive negotiations brokered by Singaporean mediators broke down.
Pentagon officials secretly fear a successful Doctor Who convention ruse and cancelation could send tensions on the peninsula soaring by spurring an accelerations of events like those of the spring of 2009, when 10 busloads of German tourists were left stranded at the South Korean side of the DMZ after a Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention they were scheduled to attend was canceled the day before it was set to commence.