ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 14th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

ROK Drop Documentary Review: Secret State of North Korea

» by in: North Korea

I just finished watching PBS Frontline’s ‘Secret State of North Korea’ on the PBS app for the Apple TV. The program can be watched online at Overall I found the program to be quite good. For those that are avid North Korea watchers and readers of the ROK Drop you will not find much new material in the documentary, but is a fascinating documentary none the less. The documentary really does a great job explaining to a wider audience how the regime maintains its power and how most people in the country live. Frontline shows a lot of guerrilla cameraman footage from within North Korea. Some of the footage I have seen before while other clips were new to me and fascinating to watch, especially those of North Koreans criticizing the Kim regime and chastising soldiers.

Frontline also interviewed a lot of North Korean defectors and groups opposing the regime such as organizations I advocate for here on the ROK Drop such as Open Radio for North Korea, Liberty in North Korea, and the balloon launch organizations. Subversive media was a major topic of discussion in the documentary. There is also many experts interviewed that are also ROK Drop favorites such as Dr. Andrei Lankov and Victor Cha among others. I was surprised though that Dr. BR Myers one of the best analysts of North Korea was not interviewed. Dr. Adam Cathcart would have been another great person to interview as well.

Overall I really cannot complain about ‘The Secret State of North Korea’ that has once again demonstrated why Frontline is such a quality program. I highly recommend everyone watch the program when they get the chance, especially any readers that have not been following North Korea issues very closely. Even an avid North Korea watcher like myself learned something from this documentary and I am sure you will as well.

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    10:00 pm on January 14th, 2014 1

    Not available in Korea. Does anyone know of any tips to fix this? A proxy server might be pretty slow (it is too slow for “other” things I use them for).

  • guitard
    10:19 pm on January 14th, 2014 2

    Get a VPN. I use PrivateTunnel. There are dozens out there.

  • Bob
    10:28 pm on January 14th, 2014 3


    Is it anything like Hotspot Shield? That’s only one I’ve ever used, but I always delete it after I’m done using it because I just don’t trust it enough to keep it running in the background.

  • Bob Smith
    6:54 pm on January 15th, 2014 4

    StrongVPN is a good one. It’s paid, and probably the most reputable I know of. I’ve had them for 2 years. They also offer a cheaper DNS service, if all you need to do is watch Netflix or whatnot.

  • a listener
    7:58 pm on January 15th, 2014 5

    GI Korea, the most fascinating part for me was watching the two North Korean girls watching South Korean programming in their room under the portraits of the kims. It gave me perspective as to how that same scene must be going on in thousands of DPRK households in the dark. Let the outside information flow.


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