Wednesday, January 15, 2014
"The Secret State of North Korea" on PBS Frontline
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2014, PBS Frontline aired “The Secret State of North Korea”. This documentary focused on efforts to get information out of the DPRK (into China, which is made to look modern in the film), and into it from the outside world.
In North Korea, when someone is arrested and “convicted” of a political crime, like watching foreign television, not only that person but three generations of family may be sent to labor camps. About 1% of the population is in detention camps, mostly for political “crimes”.
Private business used to be totally forbidden, but recently street vendors have opened business, and taxi and transportation companies have started. Very assertive people, often women, fight off the surprisingly meek younger policemen.
The link for the show is here.
The county still has enormous and colorful public demonstrations of worship for the cult leader, Kim Jong-un, who doesn’t look very masculine to me.
There is still some talk about whether Un really understands that the real world of nuclear weapons is not a video game. DPRK is the first country to make a verbal threat of launching a nuclear missile toward the United States since the end of the Cold War, although Al Qaeda makes these kinds of threats.