The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has released undercover video depicting living conditions in North Korea. The video shows grimy children begging, laborers building a private rail system intended to serve as a wedding gift for Kim Jong-un (son and heir of dictator Kim Jong-il), and an official shaking down a private market stall for rice for hungry soldiers. The ABC's analyst says this last is the most significant part of the video: "This footage is important because it shows that Kim Jong-il's regime is growing weak… It used to put the military first, but now it can't even supply food to its soldiers. Rice is being sold in markets but they are starving. This is the most significant thing in this video."
The video shows young children caked in filth begging in markets, pleading for scraps from compatriots who have nothing to give.
"I am eight," says one boy. "My father died and my mother left me. I sleep outdoors."
Many of the children are orphans; their parents victims of starvation or the gulag…
In the footage, a party official is demanding a stallholder make a donation of rice to the army.
"My business is not good," complains the stallholder.
"Shut up," replies the official. "Don't offer excuses."
N Korean children begging, army starving: exclusive