Rimjin-gang: Citizen Journalism from North Korea

Asiapress International, an Asia regional media company, has been publishing reports from citizen journalists inside North Korea (DPRK). Operating out of Tokyo, and Japanese editor gathers video, photos and reports that have been smuggled out of North Korea across the Chinese border.

Asiapress has provided camera equipment and training to a handful of North Korean volunteers. The reports published on Rimjin-gang provide accounts of extreme poverty and corruption; one article explains how the even the military’s soldiers are starving, a result of food shortages exacerbated by embezzlement by high-ranking military officials for personal profit.

The appearance of Rimjin-gang means a lot more true information can get out of North Korea. Homelessness and suicide are rampant, as are both infant and maternal mortality. The wealth disparity is disgusting and the propaganda is insane. Two American journalists reporting on North Korean defectors are serving 12 years hard labor for “grave crimes,” and very few foreign correspondents are let in to the country.

If you want to have any idea about what’s really happening in North Korea, I’d say Rimjin-gang is the best place to go. Now here is a list of DPRK websites, including Uriminzokkiri (“Kim il Sung Open University”).