The Making of Rimjin-gang <02>
Material can be divided into four types:
1. Information that reporters for Rimjin-gang obtained inside North Korea. This category includes videos and voice recordings taken inside North Korea.There are also times when reporters obtain official documents and identification documents from North Korea.
Although the reporters lack significant writing experience, there are manuscripts written by the reporters themselves. The editing team edits these documents.
The reporters generally choose what themes and places
they cover and their methods of obtaining information, but there are times when the editing team makes certain requests.
2. Interviews conducted by ASIAPRESS reporting team members who have traveled to the China-North Korea border to meet North Koreans who have temporarily crossed into China. There are also some cases in which the reporters for Rimjin-gang call members of our editing team in South Korea, China, or Japan from within North Korea.
These reports may be in question-and-answer interview format or may be written about the reporters’ thoughts on specific subjects.
3. Interviews or reports done by ASIAPRESS reporting team members at the China-North Korean border with refugees from North Korea. For these reports and interviews we have included information at the beginning of the article concerning the specific circumstances in which the reporting was conducted.
4. Articles contributed by North Koreans who are not part of the Rimjin-gang reporting team who live either within or outside of North Korean borders. One thing that must be pointed out is that in many cases, the reports made in North Korea were conducted without obtaining permission from those quoted. This is against standard principles of journalism, but because of the unique situation in North Korea we have no other choice. If a reporter were to tell an interview subject we were preparing a report, it would certainly put the reporter’s life at risk.
Therefore, in many cases the reporters have obtained video and voice recordings of many people, but most were done secretly with hidden cameras. The subjects believed they were simply having a chat. Of course we protect the interview subjects’ real identities, for example by blurring their features if we have photographed their faces.
While they represent a small proportion of the overall reports, there are some reports that were done with the subjects’ permission because they wanted to provide information about North Korea to the outside world. In most cases, such interviewees were close acquaintances of the reporters.
In these cases the reporter informs the interviewee that we will publish their discussion before proceeding with the recording. We hope that the reader will understand these circumstances.
Most of the pictures (both still photographs and video-images) used in Rimjin-gang were taken by Rimjin-gang reporters who are living in North Korea. Other than these photographs, there is an ASIAPRESS correspondent living in North Korea who has been providing us with pictures since 1998. We also have pictures taken in North Korea or from the China-North Korean border by the ASIAPRESS North Korea reporting team, and some pictures published by other organizations that are used in the journal.