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US broadcaster airs investigative report on N. Korea

Updated January. 16, 2014 01:29

한국어

“I cannot chop wood because I lost my arm due to a train accident.” This is what nine-year-old kkotjebi (homeless child in North Korea) who starved for days said when a cameraman asked him “Why don’t you chop wood to gain food.” The “Frontline” news program on the U.S. public broadcaster PBS aired on Tuesday an hour-long in-depth investigative report, “Secret State of North Korea,” which showcased situation of poverty, human rights violation, and North Koreans’ opposition to the Kim Jong Un regime.

The show focused on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying that “When Kim Jong Un took power in 2011, the U.S. had so little information that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency only had a photo of Kim taken when he was 11 years old.” Sumy Terry, former CIA analyst on North Korea affairs, said, “North Korea is classified into a ‘hard target’ country to which information access is most difficult,” adding, “Even CIA acquired information through news reports on media.”

A foreign alumni of a Swiss school, where Kim Jong Un studied during his teenage years, said, “Kim Jong Un, who transferred to our school at sixth grader, was two years older than our classmates, and was a lonely student who could not comingle with others due to his poor German language skills.”

“Foreign information streaming into North Korea will open up the North in the end,” the PBS show said. “The North Korean regime is so sternly cracking down South Korean TV shows that it is even executing North Koreans who watch them, but half of North Koreans secretively acquire South Korean TV shows and watch them.”

PBS also introduced the production process and cast of “Now I am coming to meet them,” a show revealing the North’s situation that is aired on the general programming cable TV ‘Channel A,’ which is affiliated with The Dong-A Ilbo. “Watching the show is prohibited in the North, but it is a popular program,” the U.S. broadcaster said. “The reason is that the South Korean show allows them to learn how their family and friends who defected from the North are living in the South.” Presenting images of North Koreans who secretively watch foreign DVD movies with lights off, the show said, “The most popular foreign film in the North these days is ‘007 Sky Pole,’ featuring James Bond.”

The PBS show, which secretively handed out cameras to North Koreans and asked them to film real situation in the North, also carries vivid images of North Koreans opposed to the Kim Jong Un leadership. The show included footages on North Koreans declining to work by saying “We cannot work because we are so hungry” as they are forced to deforestation work on Kim Jong Un’s birthday,” and North Korean women who toughly protest a North Korean solider for cracking down on them wearing pants, saying “Who do you think you are, and why are you nagging me.”