Silence in Korea

Yesterday something happened in North Korea and “hundreds, possibly thousands of people were killed or injured.” CNN.com had the breaking news, but details were slim. The Command Post had a few more details, but not much. I didn’t catch another report until just before bed when I checked CNN again, and they still didn’t know anything.

This morning there’s a report of 100 dead and 1,200 injured (or 54 confirmed dead and 1,200 injured, BBC). The current theory is that a live electrical wire came in contact with a train car carrying explosives for a construction project, but the whole event is shrouded in mystery.

It’s amazing to me that we have so little news about what’s happening. I haven’t seen a single current picture. Most of that can probably be chalked up to North Korea’s intense secrecy, where the state-controlled media hasn’t even reported on the accident yet. How bizarrre is that? It’s even freakier that many news outlets haven’t given the story full coverage simply because the details are sketchy, essentially self-imposing North Korea’s virtual media blackout.

With initial reports claiming 3,000 dead or injured and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il at the crash site “only hours” before (now reported to be 9 hours before), this incident could have been strikingly similar to 9/11. But compare the media response. One event has total, complete, round-the-clock coverage, complete with footage of planes crashing into buildings, people falling from the sky, and firefighters rushing to their death. Another event has scant details and a map with an arrow. Granted the events are turning out to be on a completely different scale, but the implications of such a media blackout are frightening.

One thought on “Silence in Korea”

  1. When I went to China, there were adult Christians who fell to the ground weeping when we told them that we were Christians from the United States. The kept saying that they thought they were the only Christians left in the world. And we told them that there were many more. It totally blew their minds. How bizarre is that? That was my first taste of how the “media” works in a communist country. Very frustrating…and very different from what we’re used to here.

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