Reporters on the Job

Rare Footage : Staff writer Robert Marquand got his first glimpse of the rare video of North Korean summary executions (page 1) on a BBC news broadcast. "I saw a 10-second clip, but there wasn't much context to evaluate the significance of the tape," he says.

Last week in Seoul, Bob attended a small public showing of the entire 104 minutes. "I didn't intend to write a story about it. But when I discovered that those executed were helping smuggle people out of North Korea, it became more interesting," says Bob.

He also met a 26-year-old North Korean refugee at the showing. "He had been jailed for smuggling videotapes of South Korean soap operas into the North. He later escaped. He said summary executions were frequent and public events. Everyone in the village would be notified a couple of days before. It was a technique to create fear for those who might break the rules," he says.

Bob was also struck by how much play the video was getting in Japan. "One network built a scale model of the area and staged a reenactment of the executions with actors as part of three nights of programming based on the smuggled video. It underscores to some Japanese how dangerous the Asian neighborhood has become."

Follow-up on a Monitor story

Seventy-one years and counting: The United States soccer team lost to Mexico 2 to 1 on Sunday, keeping intact Mexico's unbeaten record at home that stretches to 1934. As reported on page 1 Friday, "Mexico aims for soccer redemption," the match-up is a highly emotional one in this nation, where a win over its northern neighbor can help soothe the injustices of a century and a half of US-Mexican history. Mexico had had only one win against the US team in the last eight matches. But playing at home, at an altitude of 7,300 feet, the Mexican team took the lead early and never gave it up.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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