The Christian Science Monitor reports that the infamous North Korean execution video has been essentially banned in Korea. (Unfortunately it seems that the location Adamu found last week no longer hosts the video-the web site is only an archive of current the most recent Japanese news programs.)
“We have told of many public executions [in the North]. But officials in Seoul always ask us for material evidence,” says Pak Sang Huk, an escapee from the North. “Now that we have evidence, they don’t want to see it…. The people who brought this tape through China were speechless when they visited KBS [Korean Broadcast Service] studios, and were shunned.” Mr. Pak claims those who filmed the executions risked their lives to do so.
Seoul’s effort to avoid broadcasts of negative images or facts about North Korea is part of a larger strategy dating to the Sunshine Policy and Korean summit of 2000. In this view, unification of North and South can’t be achieved if the South criticizes or acts in a manner that the North deems hostile.
I’m genuinely amazed that the South Korean government has decided to keep this tape out of the media. Sure I understand that they want to engage the Northern regime in peaceful dialogue and tone down the anti-communist propaganda that has filled much of the public discource in post-separation South Korea, but they should realize that reporting factual information about the horrors that occur in the North should NOT be classified that way. By muffling the South Korean free press I fear they may do more long term damage.
On the plus side, South Korea has the highest penetration of high speed internet in the world, and a vast culture of file sharing software. I just hope that some Korean internet sites not associated with big media (maybe Ohmynews?) will take up the slack and make this video avaliable to the Korean population. Maybe someone will be ambitious enough to take the thorough news reports that have aired in Japan, subtitle them in Korean, and then release those videos on the internet.