A photographic peek into North Korea
Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder is one of the few members of the western media to gain access into the secretive, isolated nation of North Korea. Above is the latest sampling of his work documenting the country, and you can follow him on Tumblr here.
Photos: David Guttenfelder / Associated Press
North Korea: Playing the lunatic card
Though it’s one of the world’s most isolated, impovershed nations in the world, North Korea continues to make broad statements about sparking war, increasingly threatening the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear weaponry.
North Korea deploys the craziness card to its advantage. The colorful bombast of its infamous propaganda mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency (threatening to “break the waists of the crazy enemies, totally cut their windpipes and thus clearly show them what a real war is like”) is designed not merely to intimidate but to convince the outside world that it is dealing with lunatics.
Photo: Jung Yeon-Je / AFP
It’s still hard to believe this happened: But Dennis Rodman visited North Korea this week, vowing his eternal friendship with the country’s dictator Kim Jong-Un.
In case you missed it, Rodman was brought along as party of a VICE documentary on basketball diplomacy, and spoke at length with Jong-Un, who is reportedly a massive basketball fan.
Photos: AFP / KCNA, Associated Press /Kyodo News
Seismic activity in North Korea: Detected yesterday, the activity has been confirmed by North and South Korean media to be indicative of a nuclear test, the rogue nation’s third since obtaining nuclear capability.
North Korea claims that the device was more powerful than its previous two, though that has yet to be independently confirmed. The test has been soundly condemned by neighboring countries, from Japan, Russia and even China.
Said the White House in a statement following the test:
Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
For more info on the test, and its implications, click here.
(Photo via Yonhap)
In North Korea, children are bred like livestock in labor camps. They are taught to betray their parents. They are worked to death.
North Korea defector learns to trust the stranger who saved him: He managed to escape North Korea only to be held against his will in China. A Seoul-based fiction writer risked her comfortable life to help.
Their unlikely relationship was forged along the underground railroad that moves North Korean refugees to China and then to Southeast Asian nations en route to South Korea.
Lee is not a missionary, social worker or for-profit broker, characters who people the way stations of the underground railroad. She’s a socially conscious writer with a comfortable life in Seoul who made risky trips to China to offer money and advice to a stranger.
Photo: Krys Lee, right, and Kim Yong-chul, a North Korean defector. Credit: Matt Douma / For The Times
I’m sure the sincerity of your grief is correlated to your position in North Korean society. Defectors obviously have little love for Dear Leader, as would those mistreated by the regime.
Actually, you’d be surprised! It’s not so one-sided. Here’s an article about some defectors’ mixed emotions.
test reblogged from latimes
Are tears for N. Korean leader real or fake? Defectors say some of the grief over the death of Kim Jong Il is false and done only for the television cameras. “The people abandoned him in their hearts,” one man says.
"There was a rumor during the mourning period for Kim Il Sung that we were being graded in how we showed our grief. If you didn’t go out to mourn with the others, you would be in disfavor and that would count against you in the future," said Yoo, the defector whose wife and son died. "Especially for the people in Pyongyang, they had to show they were the most faithful."
Photo: Pyongyang citizens bow Wednesday in front of a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il at the Grand People’s Study House in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. The portrait was placed in the spot where the portrait of his father, Kim Il Sung, usually hangs. Credit: Associated Press
Barbara Demick’s obituary of Kim Jong Il is up. A thorough, good read.
Photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il waves to soldiers during his visit to the North Korean People’s Army’s No. 789 unit. The date of the photo is unknown. Credit: North Korean Central News Agency
All of The Times’ coverage will end up on this page, but we’ll be sure to post the big stuff individually to Tumblr. If you scroll a little ways down, there’s some info on Kim Jong Il’s son and successor Kim Jong Eun.
Whew! Heading home now. This year has been insane. What a way to close December…
This 2005 piece from Barbara Demick is a fascinating long read:
Trading ideals for sustenance: Hunger is driving North Koreans to capitalistic enterprises and weakening the communist regime’s iron grip.
Barbara Demick’s book, Nothing to Envy, is incredible! Eric and I would read it out loud to each other every night before bed last summer.
Yes! Here’s some more info on her book.
test reblogged from yeshairy
A number of defectors live in L.A.