중앙데일리

Video details life in North Korea

Jan 06,2005
The JoongAng Ilbo obtained yesterday a 90-minute video tape of North Koreans in Cheongjin, a city of about 660,000 people on the eastern coast not far from the Russian-Chinese border.
Allegedly filmed by a North Korean army officer assigned to border patrol, the video includes the rare scenes of North Korean criminal trials.
Japan’s Nippon Television Network provided the tape to the JoonAng Ilbo. Scenes date back to last September.
“The officer gave the tape to us saying that he wanted to show the suffering of the North Korean people after more than a decade of the economic crisis,” a Nippon official said.
Most videos of North Korea are filmed secretly using hidden cameras, but the tape appeared to have clear, stable scenes.
The tape includes footage of young orphans and a detention center for repatriated defectors.
“The crime of prostitution and disturbing this nation’s order must be punished heavily,” a judge said to a woman and a man standing on a truck at the Sinam Mark of Cheongjin, North Hamgyeong province.
According to the tape, the woman received 1,000 won ($.66, the market rate for U.S. dollars) in North Korean currency for the sex act. The money can buy about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of rice. She was sent to a forced labor camp immediately after she was found guilty at the open trial.
Quick trials followed for five other men, and they were found guilty of using forged U.S. money, robbery and rape.
The tape also showed the dreary lives of many stray children on the streets. Some lie motionless near railroad tracks. A child is seen walking around a plaza with a liquor bottle in his hand; he was shoeless and all his toes are cutoff .
“So many of them (children) die of hunger and cold, so nobody pays attention to them,” said a former North Korean intelligence official of the North Hamgyeong province who defected to the South.


by Lee Young-jong


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