The Washington Times-Herald


February 8, 2014

Is North Korea on the verge?

While it might be called the “Hermit Kingdom,” North Korea is seeing a lot of change.

Some of those changes were evident in the recent Frontline documentary, “Secret State of North Korea.”

Like many throughout the world, I’m fascinated with North Korea ever since I got to lay eyes on it (from a very safe distance) when I lived in South Korea. I try to keep in touch with the news from the Korean peninsula since my time there about a decade ago.

News from North Korea is sparse. It has always been that way in order to control its people with a cult of personality around their leaders, Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il and now, Kim Jong-Un.

What is interesting about “Secret State of North Korea,” was it is one of the first documentaries produced since Kim Jong-Eun took power two years ago. The youngest Kim has created, like his father and grandfather, an even-tighter grip on the population. An attempt to solidify power in what experts believe to be a tricky transition.

What was so interesting about director James Jones’ documentary was the use of hidden video from North Korea. The video, shot by North Koreans at great risk to themselves and their families, is smuggled from North Korea via thumb drives and DVDs to AsiaPress, a Japan-based group committed to telling North Korean stories.

The footage shown in Jones’ film did not show the regular North Korean footage of famine, military might and really intricate choreography. One of the videos was of a black market in North Korean city, where goods smuggled in from the Chinese border are bought and sold, in plain view of the state. Capitalism was at work in the “Socialist Worker’s Paradise.”

Another video was one of a woman, owning a bus business, telling a soldier off. Okay, the bus was really a truck with people riding in the back of it, but the image of a female in authority and one using that authority is stunning, especially considering the Confucian heritage of both Koreas.

Text Only
  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014

  • I am proud to fight against the 'War on Coal I recently signed on as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan bill led by one of my Democrat colleagues from West Virginia that would stop the newly released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on existing coal-generated power plants.He

    July 16, 2014

  • EPA regulations are very bad for District 63 The coal industry has played an integral role in our nation’s history, and District 63 is very close to the heart of it all. Information on the Institute of Energy Research’s website reveals that from a global standpoint, the United States has the la

    July 16, 2014

  • Update from Veale Creek Players Update from Veale Creek PlayersEditor:Veale Creek Players just finished the second week of the children’s summer camp with a pizza cast party. All parents and friends of our future actors/actresses were invited and enjoyed being part of the Veale Cre

    July 16, 2014

  • James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician.In returning to his home

    July 16, 2014

  • Say yes to the dress (at least at some point) Next month, the beloved boyfriend and I will celebrate two years of togetherness. For me, this is a huge milestone and for him, well, I guess this illustrates how patient and tolerant of my quirks he is (or maybe that’s the other way around. Remember

    July 12, 2014

  • Moving towards a better tomorrow This past week a federal judge ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but in Daviess County there were no wedding bells ringing for same-sex couples. Despite receiving an email from the Indiana Attorney General’s office advising coun

    July 5, 2014

  • Clerk owes public an apology Clerk owes public an apologyEditor:I read the account from Daviess County, stating that the county clerk had refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her biblical beliefs and unclear direction from the state government. Regardl

    July 3, 2014