Inside North Korea: An African-American’s Journal

Andrew Jones travels to North Korea with a group of African Americans called "People to People" in an effort to learn more about the country. Once there, his mission for the tape becomes dispelling negative American myths about North Korea.

00:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.

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00:23Copy video clip URL Slate: Say Brother, Inside North Korea: An African American’s Journal, mono, 1 & 2, Producer: Lindsay, Director: O’Neal, show 2422, air date 5.26.94, time: 28: 13

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00:43Copy video clip URL Titles up, show begins

00:52Copy video clip URL Host Delores Handy welcomes viewers and talks about North Korea and the world’s speculation as to whether or not the country has nuclear capabilities. Tonight, she says, Say Brother takes a look inside North Korean society.

01:35Copy video clip URL Interview with a North Korean man who says there are three main reasons why their society is successful: “we have unity, the people are hard-working, and we have good ideas.”

01:48Copy video clip URL B-roll of North Korean musicians performing with string instruments on stage

01:59Copy video clip URL Interview with an African American who says he wants to call upon the US to allow the Korean people to live in peace.

02:12Copy video clip URL Show title: Inside North Korea, an African American’s Journal.

02:19Copy video clip URL B-roll of downtown Pyongyang. Children walk to school, adults walk to work.

02:36Copy video clip URL Interview with a Korean woman on a tour bus who notes that the children they saw walking to school were singing revolutionary songs. She notes the guerrillas composed many of the songs and that many speak to the idea that cowards will run but they will stay and keep the revolution going.

02:59Copy video clip URL A North Korean military officer speaks in Korean. A translator translates: “During wartime I saw many black men. When I say like this, don’t be angry. In fact, I killed some black men and I also captured some black men.”

03:34Copy video clip URL Journalist Andrew Jones narrates that he came to North Korea as part of the largest delegation of Americans to visit since the Korean War. He notes the group was made up of political activists, lawyers, students, journalists, and clergy. The objective is to get to know the North Korean people and make a statement about the threat of nuclear war.

03:59Copy video clip URL Interview with Sue, a group member, who says the group wants to reflect the progressive movement in the US and be respectful and show solidarity to the Koreans.

04:12Copy video clip URL Bill, another member, says it’s an honor to be part of the delegation and hopes to get the US out of South Korea.

04:21Copy video clip URL Another US member, Pramilla, thinks it’s a great experience and will be able to speak intelligently with other young Americans back home the issues in North Korea.

04:34Copy video clip URL Accompanied with b-roll of their travels throughout North Korea, Jones narrates that the group traveled the country by bus, train and plane to see the country and meets its people. They made speeches, ate together, danced together, a meeting of hearts and minds.

05:01Copy video clip URL While traveling by car, the tour guide, Pak, notes that blacks in America are humiliated, repressed, and exploited by “white imperialists.” If black people are awakened more and more, they will achieve their goal and purpose. What’s most important for progress is to awaken the people consciously and purposefully.

06:06Copy video clip URL Journalist Jones gives a public speech noting that he has only been here a few days, but feels already like it is home because in the Koreans he sees a love of humanity that he can only hope for in his own country.

06:44Copy video clip URL Interview with group member, Clayton, who says it’s important to take what the group is experiencing and translate it into the 21st century hip hop language of people of color.

07:27Copy video clip URL Jones narrates that he expected to meet a rigid people, firm in Communism and in their hatred of the West. Instead what he found was so different it can hardly convey his surprise.

07:56Copy video clip URL Interview with group member Juan who says that before coming to North Korea he thought the country was backwards, mind-controlled, repressed. But the reality as he sees it offers a lot for Westerners to learn from. It’s not our traditions, but from matters of substance there’s a lot we can learn from.

09:08Copy video clip URL Jones narrates that North Korea is the most staunchly Communist country in the world. It’s perceived in the West as a closed society. Up close though, the people are open.

09:23Copy video clip URL Interview with tour guide Pak who says American people have a good tradition. The International Worker’s day, May Day, was born in Chicago. They demonstrated a revolutionary spirit to the world and set an example.

10:03Copy video clip URL B-roll of Korean dance performers on stage. The narrator notes that in Korea the individual is at the heart of society. The greatest of a nation is measured by its treatment of citizens, particularly children. B-roll of kids singing at a public event.

10:50Copy video clip URL Group member Wilhelm says that Korean people do not appear repressed, they appear relaxed, leisurely, children play everywhere.

11:03Copy video clip URL B-roll of kids in school, learning English. The narrator notes in Korea school is free.

11:23Copy video clip URL A young group member says that she feels the Koreans are people-conscious. “There are images all over of a worker, a farmer, women are in every single image I’ve seen displayed. Ordinary people in grand situations.”

11:51Copy video clip URL B-roll of a group of women working in a hospital. They are in conference. The narrator notes that the lead woman is in charge of the medical facility dedicated to women health care. He comments that their infant mortality rate is one of the lowest in the third world.

12:06Copy video clip URL One of the medical women notes, dental hygiene is important for pregnant women. They are treated here free of charge.

12:23Copy video clip URL B-roll of the Nampo dam across the Taedong River. The narrator describes the dam and its history, stating that it separates salt water from fresh water. A tour guide states that the function of the dam is for the people to utilize fresh water for irrigation of their culture. The water supplies the fields.

13:20Copy video clip URL B-roll of a sports stadium and athletes training in track and field. The narrator notes that North Korea is hoping to co-host the 1998 Olympics with South Korea.

13:35Copy video clip URL B-roll of Korean classical musicians performing and singing, operatic. The narrator comments that there is an expression in the East that you can make a man work, but you can’t make him sing. As for training in the arts, Koreans speak for themselves.

14:17Copy video clip URL The narrator talks about the war fought between North Koreans and invading Japanese colonizers for 36 years. He tells of the war and how the Koreans persisted then and persist now. B-roll of visitors at various war monuments near the Manchurian border.  Children lay flowers at a cemetery. The narrator notes that the cemetery is a testament to the Koreans that suffered against the Japanese.

15:28Copy video clip URL A female Korean tour guide in a museum talks about how the US occupied South Korea  and provoked war against North Korea. Since then our country has been divided North and South.

15:57Copy video clip URL The narrator notes that the Korean War was billed in the US as a police action. In North Korea, it was a fight for their homeland.

16:06Copy video clip URL A North Korean military officer speaks in Korean. A translator translates: “At that time black men belonged to the US Army. Therefore we regarded them as American aggressors. We fought, shot the enemy.” He talks about a specific battle he was in in which Koreans and Americans were fighting in close proximity. “We shot with light machine guns, rifles. In this fight black men were killed by their pilots.”

17:10Copy video clip URL B-roll of a North Korean War documentary. The narrator notes that over 3 million Korean military and civilian people lost their lives during the war.

17:43Copy video clip URL Interview with a black man who marvels at how the North Koreans were able to rebuild after the war using their own resources. In the south they’ve relied on others and if those others left the country would collapse.

18:12Copy video clip URL A Korean man says the North Koreans rebuilt this city in only 40 years. In 1950 it was completely destroyed.

18:27Copy video clip URL B-roll of city life in North Korea. The narrator notes how much they’ve rebuilt since the war noting that massive construction efforts produced whole streets at one time.

18:39Copy video clip URL A North Korean tour guide on a tour bus riding through Pyongyang notes that this street was built in 1970, and points out the Peoples’ Cultural Palace building.

18:52Copy video clip URL The narrator notes the country was rebuilt on a philosophy of self-reliance and self-determination. One for all, all for one.

19:11Copy video clip URL One of the delegates raves about the philosophy and how it is “happening.”

19:22Copy video clip URL The tour guide says his people are united around the leader and the people rose like one man to rebuild the city.

19:34Copy video clip URL B-roll of the cityscape, various buildings. The narrator notes that Pyonyang is a show piece of the country and notes its high points: wide streets, a nice subway system, one of the world tallest hotels, and a thriving movie industry.

20:03Copy video clip URL A woman of the American delegate notes how impressed she is with the city, its rebuilding. “I didn’t expect wide streets, large number of houses, and general well-being of the people. We keep wondering if this is genuine. The buildings look poor by American standards. But what they’ve achieved, even if it’s superficial, is magnificent.”

20:59Copy video clip URL The narrator notes that the war ended with an armistice under a conditional surrender, the first such surrender Americans ever yielded to.

21:11Copy video clip URL B-roll of a museum showing exhibits of the Cold War never shown to Westerners. There are exhibits of American espionage efforts. A tour guide gives tour.  The narrator notes that to the North Koreans, the Vietnam War, the American’s use of the Atom bomb in World War Two, and the presence of US troops in South Korea are the reasons they must be prepared for nuclear war.

21:54Copy video clip URL B-roll of a public rally and a large picture of Kim Il-sung. A North Korean says if people unite around the party leader they can do everything.

22:14Copy video clip URL A Korean tour guide walks with the delegation giving history of Kim Il-sung.

22:36Copy video clip URL A Korean man on the street says it’s important to respect their leader to unify the country and educate their people. The narrator notes that to the West Kim Il-sung is a dictator, but to the North Koreans he is no different from Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King. His family represents the sacrifices made to rebuild a country.

23:22Copy video clip URL A tour guide explains the 38th Parallel and talks about its history and significance.

23:43Copy video clip URL A member of the US delegate notes that it’s ironic that the black US troops who came to the Korean war to protect someone’s interests faced racism, denial of opportunity back home with no troops to fight for their interests.

24:04Copy video clip URL Another says that the money the US spends to keep a barrier between North and South Korea would be better spent helping its own repressed people back home.

24:58Copy video clip URL A North Korean tour guide says he wants North and South Korea to become one country and then make peace with the US so that neither country will interfere with the other.

26:05Copy video clip URL B-roll of a public rally. The narrator notes that reunification is the issues closest to the hearts of North Koreans, including the wish to reunite 2 million families separated by the Korean War.

26:21Copy video clip URL Continued interview with the North Korean tour guide who says that for 40 years the separated families didn’t exchange any communication.

26:35Copy video clip URL A Korean woman notes that North and South Korea are the same homogeneous nation.

26:45Copy video clip URL B-roll of Mount Paektusan. The narrator notes that the delegation’s tour ends here.

27:00Copy video clip URL A female American delegate notes that being on the mountain you really get a sense of the struggle they North Koreans had to endure to rebuild their country. B-roll of the delegate signing well-wishes and messages of peace and hope to the Korean people on a large banner.

27:22Copy video clip URL The journalist wraps up saying that people who are supposed to be the enemy treated him and his delegation like friends.

27:30Copy video clip URL Reverend Thornhill, one of the delegates, notes that Korea is a beautiful place and they have the right for self-determination, to be free, to be one nation and one people.

27:54Copy video clip URL The journalist signs off.

28:04Copy video clip URL End titles and credits.

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1 Comment

  1. Alex says:

    Is amazing how stupid are Americans Nationals by default.
    I’m from Cuba, so, by nature my IQ is highest. because We, same as North Koreans, has to SURVIVE our own Communist monarchies.
    This bunch of fools are not even allowed to walk by themselves and they are judging The All Country Politic based in what the governments how in to their eyes.
    Literally speaking YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY STUPID to not has the basic IQ to figure out the appearance behind the true.

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