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NBC Reporter Goes to North Korean Amusement Park, Enjoys Bumper Cars – Watching.ml

In a stunningly tone deaf report for NBC’s Today present on Wednesday, reporter Keir Simmons touted “a week inside North Korea” and gaining “rare access to the people there,” which included driving bumper automobiles at an amusement park in Pyongyang and sampling beer at an area bar. Less than a minute of the 5-minute lengthy section targeted on North Korea’s atrocious human rights abuses.

As he arrived within the authoritarian regime, Simmons noticed: “First impressions: Clean, organized, and a lot of people in uniform.” Visiting a navy museum within the capital, he declared: “A tour of weapons captured from American forces in the Korean War counts as a school outing here.” He requested two of the youngsters visiting: “What are you learning here?” A lady replied: “We are learning about the great fighting spirit of our war heros.” A boy answered: “America gave unfathomable pain to our people.”

 

 

From that blatant show of presidency propaganda, it was time to journey to one other: “Here, an amusement park in the capital, bumper cars.” Not solely did Simmons pay attention to the journey, he determined to hop in a single. Afterwards, he advised viewers that his fellow bumper automotive drivers have been “ruthless.” That phrase was solely used as soon as within the report, and never in reference to the communist regime.

As he loved the amusement park sights, the correspondent touted individuals taking photos: “And cell phone cameras, though not connected to the worldwide web, they are small signs of a growing economy.”

Despite laughably taking over North Korea’s “growing economy,” Simmons did handle to supply a single sentence concerning the actuality: “Sanctions are tightening, the average income still around a thousand to two thousand dollars a year.” Though even then he appeared to blame the sanctions as a substitute of the dictatorship for the acute poverty.

Simmons shortly added: “But everyone we met was quick to thank one person for, well, everything – the country’s supreme leader.” While nonetheless on the amusement park, he requested a gaggle of individuals: “So you thank Kim Jong-un for this park?” Predictably, all of them stated sure.

After the amusement park, Simmons was handled to a number of drinks: “At a beer hall, the usual bar chat, local brew, and snacks.” The reporter laughed and clinked glasses with the bar’s fellow patrons. When he requested them, “What do you think of America?,” one gentleman eagerly responded: “We are ready to fight until our last drop of blood.”

Finally, after seeing all of the sights that authorities needed him to see, Simmons took about 40 seconds to sum up North Korea’s horrendous human rights report:

In this tightly managed nation, you’ll be able to by no means make certain what persons are really considering. We are continually accompanied by authorities officers, listening in and translating. Inevitably, we weren’t proven proof of what Amnesty International calls “violations of most aspects of their human rights.”

This the nation the place American Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years for tried theft of a poster. In jail, the 21-year-outdated pupil mysteriously fell right into a coma and by no means regained consciousness. On Friday, Otto Warmbier’s dad will attend the Olympic opening ceremony as a visitor of Vice President Pence. The diplomatic rigidity spilling over into the sports activities area.

However, somewhat than finish on such a dour notice, Simmons as a substitute boosted North Korea’s Olympic staff for the upcoming winter video games in South Korea:

Among those that’ve certified, two North Korean skaters. They’re Olympic desires have flourished right here, below the watchful eye of the nation’s nice leaders. When you’re from North Korea, the stress is at one other degree. We meet their mentor, 75-year-outdated pace skating champion, Han Pil-hwa….She was the primary Korean to meddle at a Winter Olympics, again in 1964. She has dreamt of the north and south competing as one.

After the taped report, Simmons briefly defined to co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb how carefully managed his go to was by authorities minders:

And a notice on how our journey was organized. We requested for the place we needed to go, however after all, the federal government managed the place we went. So inevitably, the those who we spoke to have been professional-authorities. What we didn’t see, Savanna and Hoda, was what many defectors have talked about, that are horrible situations there.

“Right, when you go, you see what they want you to see,” Guthrie replied.

That’s actually at all times a problem for any reporter protecting an authoritarian nation, however that doesn’t imply they’ve to be such a prepared participant within the propaganda.

Back in January, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt drew vital scorn for a equally softball section on North Korea for the Today present. While reporting from a “very modern ski resort” within the brutal regime on January 22, Holt gushed: “We have been treated with respect here.”

Ironically, earlier on Wednesday’s broadcast, the NBC morning present fretted that President Trump’s name for a navy paraded in Washington D.C. would make the U.S. appear like North Korea. If solely the community’s protection of North Korea itself have been that harsh.

Here is a full transcript of the February 7 report from Simmons:

7:41 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Welcome again, the Winter Olympics start in South Korea tomorrow, and that has its neighbor to the north very a lot within the highlight.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: It is. So how are individuals in North Korea feeling concerning the begin of the video games and the current escalating rigidity with the U.S.? NBC’s Kier Simmons traveled to North Korea to discover out. He joins us now from Pyeongchang. Keir, good morning.

KEIR SIMMONS: Savannah, good morning. Tomorrow, North Korea will maintain a navy parade, only a day forward of the opening ceremony right here. Where South Korean athletes will compete alongside North Koreans. The U.S. accusing North Korea of utilizing the Olympics for propaganda. We spent per week inside North Korea and gained uncommon entry to the individuals there.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Inside North Korea; Rare Look at Rogue Nation’s People & Places]

The flight into North Korea crosses mountainous terrain, southeast to the capital, Pyongyang. We drove at nightfall from the airport.

First impressions: Clean, organized, and lots of people in uniform.

A tour of weapons captured from American forces within the Korean War counts as a faculty outing right here.

What are you studying right here?

“We are learning about the great fighting spirit of our war heros,” this youngster tells me.

“America gave unfathomable pain to our people,” he says.

2018 02 07 nbc tday simmons - NBC Reporter Goes to North Korean Amusement Park, Enjoys Bumper Cars - Watching.ml

Here, an amusement park within the capital, bumper automobiles. They are ruthless, these guys.

And cellular phone cameras, although not linked to the worldwide net, they’re small indicators of a rising economic system.

Sanctions are tightening, the typical earnings nonetheless round a thousand to two thousand a yr. But everybody we met was fast to thank one individual for, effectively, all the pieces – the nation’s supreme chief.

So you thank Kim Jong-un for this park?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes.

At a beer corridor, the same old bar chat, native brew, and snacks.

Smokey, vinegary, chewy. You positively want beer with it.

The dialog turns into extra animated, as bar speak usually does.

SIMMONS: What do you consider America?

“We are ready to fight,” this man says, “until our last drop of blood.” But one other says, “Truthfully, we don’t want to become America’s enemy. As fathers, we all want peace.”

In this tightly managed nation, you’ll be able to by no means make certain what persons are really considering. We are continually accompanied by authorities officers, listening in and translating. Inevitably, we weren’t proven proof of what Amnesty International calls “violations of most aspects of their human rights.”

This the nation the place American Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years for tried theft of a poster. In jail, the 21-year-outdated pupil mysteriously fell right into a coma and by no means regained consciousness. On Friday, Otto Warmbier’s dad will attend the Olympic opening ceremony as a visitor of Vice President Pence. The diplomatic rigidity spilling over into the sports activities area.

Among those that’ve certified, two North Korean skaters. They’re Olympic desires have flourished right here, below the watchful eye of the nation’s nice leaders. When you’re from North Korea, the stress is at one other degree.

We meet their mentor, 75-year-outdated pace skating champion, Han Pil-hwa.

Would you want to win an Olympic medal?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN [SKATERS]: Yes!

She was the primary Korean to meddle at a Winter Olympics, again in 1964. She has dreamt of the north and south competing as one. Her brother, she explains, lived within the south. “I last spoke to him back in 1990,” she says. “Four years ago, he died of cancer.”

For many years, households have been divided, lives devastated by a battle that right here, they are saying, by no means ended. In an schooling middle with its personal duplicate missile, younger individuals study music and sports activities. But these boys should quickly begin ten years navy service.

Would you somewhat combat to your nation or play sport to your nation?

“We would rather protect our country,” one says. “For our nation, I can sacrifice my happiness and life,” says one other.

Even right this moment, North Korea’s individuals know little of the surface world beside what they’re advised. And most of us know little of them.

And a notice on how our journey was organized. We requested for the place we needed to go, however after all, the federal government managed the place we went. So inevitably, the those who we spoke to have been professional-authorities. What we didn’t see, Savanna and Hoda, was what many defectors have talked about, that are horrible situations there.

GUTHRIE: Right, once you go, you see what they need you to see.

SIMMONS: That’s proper.

GUTHRIE: But Keir, fascinating nonetheless. Thank you.

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