Friday, April 19, 2013

Panorama on North Korea

Well, interesting - even if they didn't actually show us anything we didn't already know from news reports or other visits to the country. This series, on the other hand is excellent:

So, how did the BBC do? Just some musings ...

  • The endless repetition of "thermonuclear war"? Apart from the German estimate of 40 kilotons, all the other estimates for the third nuclear test put it well within fission bomb levels.
  • Prof Brian Meyers - big military equals 'far right' equals 'ultra-nationalist'. Okay, if you insist. But the Sovs had a big army, were definitely left-ish and were really quite keen on "Mother Russia".
    • But he's also the guy who insists that the Norks wouldn't start a (thermo)nuclear war.
  • North Koreans are racially prejudiced. Okay, didn't see any evidence of this when I was in South Korea (except from 'white people can't hold their drink. Ed notes: That's largely because they largely equate 'white' and 'American'. So it is evidence-based to some extent.) But so is still-really-communist China and really-quite-capitalist Japan.
  • Anti-aircraft guns? Just because they were pointing up? Yes, people still use anti-aircraft cannon - small and rapid firing. Long distance stuff is missiles everywhere. I'm not sure whether this is North Korean backwardness or BBC ignorance.
  • The defector brave enough to go on camera? Okay, but they'd only just shown the interview with the guy who had fallen under the train. Only the lady doctor was hidden.
All in all, not great journalism.

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