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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  May 28, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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inside a secretive nation. exclusive video obtained by nhk sheds light on life in north korea and suggests the new regime of kim jong-un is gaining support. welcome to nhk world "newsline." north korea is often referred to as the hermit kingdom. it's a reclusive nation, a place where government leaders wield ultimate power and citizens seemingly do what they're told. many people wonder what life is like inside north korea.
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nhk has obtained amateur video that gives us a glimpse. the images show us how people in the capital pyongyang live. our reporter hiroki yajima has been following north korean issues. hiroki, who took these pictures and what do they mean? >> the video was given to us by a graduate student who went to pyongyang as part of a citizens exchange program. it shows everyday scenes in the capital, nothing dramatic but it does give us some clues about the new leadership and its plans for the country. starting with the downtown, banners with slogans with the nation's founder and his son, kim jong-il are always displayed across but now we see there's new banner with the leader kim jong-un.
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this one read let's award one of the highest honors for our leader, kim jong-un. now here we can see another one that says let us move forward to final victory. the slogan is familiar to experts of north korea, because they are the final laws used by kim jong-un during his first speech in public. such displays of kim jong-un's name across the capital seem to indicate the transfer of power is going smoothly. let's see what else we can learn. this is at a subway station in the capital. the picture denotes here a ticket gate which is fitted with an electronic card system, a relatively new experience for commuters, that was launched in 2008. a north korean bank has also
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launched a debit card system in january 2011. more significant is that ordinary citizens can be seen using mobile phones. ♪ north korean state run tv teaches proper manners for using mobile phones in public areas. [ phone ringing ] >> how popular is the use of mobile phones in north korea? >> well, it's becoming very common in the capital. north korea launched a 3g network in 2008 as a joint venture with an egyptian provider, alaskan telecom. the service is reported to have
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millions of subscribers. the spread of mobile phones means information is circulating much faster but there are still some important limits. for example, ordinary citizens are not allowed to make overseas calls. on the other hand, a u.s. state department survey published earlier this month shows that people in north korea have more opportunities to access foreign media. the survey targeted north koreans who fled their country. 75% of the respondents said they have seen foreign tv programs. and roughly half of them said they had watched foreign dvds while in north korea. this resident explains that the surface of her apartment is 170 square meters. the rent was a mere 410 wong per month, the equivalent of ten cents u.s.
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she says this degree of comfort was made possible by the country's new leader. >> people in pyongyang seem to be very loyal to the new leadership. >> yes. i think the new regime's footing appears very solid. kim jong-un is said to be especially keen to promote modern technologies. north koreans are getting to know a little more about the outside world. so maybe he's trying to convince them that their country is not too far behind. >> it seems like it's quite a change from earlier policies. >> well, the government still enforces a strict ban on viewing of foreign movies and tv programs at home. the regime is very worried about
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people gaining access to the wider world. so it is likely to step up efforts to restrict the flow of information. another step of the government is a widening gap between rich and poor. housing construction is booming in pyongyang but it's mainly reserved for the wealthy elite. in the long run this wealth gap combined with the inflow of information may weaken his control. >> hiroki yajima, thanks. kim jong-un's regime doesn't just have control over people in north korea, it also influences groups in the south. and that angers south korean lee myung-bak. for its first time, he's criticized pyongyang supporters in his country, he's accusing them of believing the authorities in the north who say they haven't been involved in terrorist activities. >> translator: the north is problematic, but pro-north korea
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groups in our country who blindly follow the north are a greater problem. >> the president made the criticism during his latest address, reporting on his visit to myanmar earlier this month. lee said he visited a site in yangon to mourn for the south korean victims of a 1983 terrorist bombing. the attack targeted then south korean president chun doo-hwan. chun survived but 21 south koreans were killed including cabinet ministers. lee criticized north korea for denying involvement in the bombing and the sinking of a south korean naval vessel in 2010. accusations of fraud were made against opposition lawmakers close to the north during a preliminary election that took place last month. analysts say that lee apparently hopes to eliminate any influence on the part of the north in a presidential election to take place in south korea in december. japan's foreign prime minister is defending how he led his country through one of the most challenging times in
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history. naoto kan was in charge on march 11th, 2011, when an earthquake shook the nation, triggered devastating tsunami and sparked meltdowns at fukushima daiichi. he gave his side of the story when he testified before a government panel investigating the accident at the nuclear plant. >> kan also added the government didn't receive enough information about the accident from japan's nuclear safety agency and other sources. he said he feared the situation could get out of control. the day after the accident, kan
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flew to fukushima daiichi. >> the former prime minister explained he wanted to know why emergency venting was not being carried out, despite rising pressure in the container vessel. kan says the tepco officials responded that he didn't know.
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>> the members of the government panel investigating the fukushima daiichi accident will finalize their report next month and submit it to the speakers of both houses of the diet. engineers at fukushima daiichi are getting ready to carry out a delicate operation. they'll be removing unused fuel rods from a storage pool at the nuclear plant to check them for damage. the procedure is a dry run for the extraction of more than 1500 rods. the volatile material could pose a threat if there is another earthquake. the engineers plan to remove two unused fuel rods in july from the pool at the number four reactor. if they're successful, they'll take out the rest of the rods next year. the reactor did not go into meltdown after the tsunami because it was off line, but areas near the storage pool were damaged when hydrogen from another reactor got into the building and exploded.
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engineers suspect the blast weakened the pool. they're reinforcing the structure to keep it in tact until they can get the fuel out. the nuclear accident raised concerns about the safety of food from fukushima. some consumers still avoid buying products from that prefecture, even if inspectors have approved the items. police say that prompted a former meat shop manager to bend the rules. investors say hiroshi admitted to selling falsely labeled beef from fukushima in february at a store in osaka in western japan. police say he told them he didn't think people would buy meat from fukushima. agriculture ministry officials ordered the shop's operator last month to label its products correctly. they discovered it falsified the origin of 1.4 tons of beef. myanmar has been called the last frontier of asia. as the former military regime opens up, it presents untapped
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economic potential. asian neighbors and western countries are reaching out to the formerly reclusive country. now manhoman singh is the first indian prime minister to visit the country in 25 years. singh vowed to help myanmar bolster its economy and democratization during his meeting with president thein sein on monday. singh outlined india's plans to improve transportation systems linking the two nations. and to support the regional development. he also stated india's readiness to aid the country's transformation to democratic rule. unlike many western countries, india has not imposed economic sanctions against myanmar. instead, india has been steadily supporting myanmar including helping build ports. however, china also has political and economic ties with the country due to large financial aid packages to myanmar. singh's visit comes amid moves by other nations to improve ties with the former military regime. it maybes clear india's intention to strengthen its
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relations with the bordering country. singh is set to meet myanmar's pro democracy leader aung san suu kyi on tuesday. china's state run news agency is reporting a story that highlights ongoing tensions between the country's central government and tibet. it says two tibetans set themselves on fire sunday in lhasa and that one of them is dead. the xinhua news agency says it happened near the temple in the administrative capital in the tibet autonomous region. the area was crowded with pilgrims celebrating a buddhist festival. the self-immolations are the latest in a series of tibetans protesting against china's tight control over their religious activities. similar incidents happened in sichuan and qinghai provinces. the latest cases are the first reported in lhasa. according to an agency an official in the region criticized the acts saying they
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were done for tibet's aim to separate from china. chinese government authorities tightened their control and monitoring of tibetan temples across the nation after the 2008 uprising in lhasa. u.s. affiliated broadcasting in yarb says the city is filled with police and paramilitary forces. a japanese race car driver is making a switch he hopes won't affect his success. nobuhiro tajima has won the annual pike's peek climb. he will head to colorado in july with a new set of wheels, a car that is cleaner and greener. nhk world's ayumi kimura has the story. >> reporter: tajima is aiming for his seventh straight victory in his new electric car. >> translator: this will be a new era in the history of motor racing. >> reporter: the course is over
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150 turns and cars reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. up to now his cars have all been gasoline powered. last week he set a new course record of 9:51. he's a top racer in the world. tajima has been a rally driver since he was 18 and has learned his auto sport company forward through the careers. however attitudes toward gas-powered vehicles have changed in recent years. tajima felt it was time he stopped racing gas guzzlers. >> translator: i'm changing to an electric racing car for the sake of the environment and people's health and also to address the issue of the world's dwindling oil supplies. >> reporter: thanks to tajima's high profile, various companies have come forward to offer their backing. tajima chose to work a major
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company that has developed high-end battery technology. >> translator: i don't want people to say i did badly because it's an electric car. i want to show them i did well because of the batteries. >> reporter: work on the car's batteries began at the start of the year. tajima's requirements are very demanding. he knows he can win if he gets enough acceleration coming out of the turns. the car's batteries must provide a massive surge of electricity instantly. the new batteries were fitted in the car at the end of april. the exact number and type of batteries is secret. but in a test, the wheels didn't turn.
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there was a defect in the equipment controlling the electric current. >> translator: today's test run is canceled. >> reporter: developing an electric car is totally new for tajima's team. tajima's staff went back to scale one, working with the engineers. two weeks later, it's time for more tests. the wheels finally start to move, nearly a month behind schedule. >> translator: it's taken a long time, but at last we're there. >> reporter: the first test run took place on may 17th.
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the car went at just half its maximum power. even so, it hit a speed of over 120 kilometers an hour. >> translator: i think things are going to go even better than last year. it has great potential. >> reporter: with his new electric car, tajima is aiming for the summit and is hoping to write a new chapter in automobile history. ayumu kimura, nhk world, iwate. here are the latest market figures.
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more and more professionals at japan arrive at the office to find themselves sitding next to a stranger. people in different kinds of businesses work side by side in what is called a co-working space. professionals in other countries are getting used to the practice. and over the last year, more than 60 such offices have sprung up here in japan. >> reporter: this co-working space opened in tokyo last year. each person here has his or her own job.
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>> translator: i sell japanese sake online. >> translator: i'm developing smartphone apps. >> i'm planning to start a new business. >> reporter: people here are mostly in their 20s and 30s. more than 100 of them share this working space. this man runs a flea market on the web. but because he didn't have confidence in the design of his site, he asked a designer in the same space for help. after repeated discussions, he says he's been able to create an attractive site for women. >> translator: i'm not a design specialist, so i asked for his help. i like this place because i can work with many talented people. >> translator: at a co-working space, we can stay in touch with
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others regardless of our age and sex and generation. i hope people will take more advantage of this place. >> reporter: the use of co-working spaces is spreading also among women who are raising children. this woman used to work at a leading i.t. company. today she is preparing to set up a new business. she is helping to develop easy to use tablet computer applications for the elderly. but she rarely had opportunities to communicate with other business people. so toyota began going to a women only co-working space. because many women who are also raising children come to the
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space, they feel comfortable talking about their business ideas, even when they bring their kids along. toyota took the opportunity and bounced her ideas off others. toyota made friends with a marketing specialist, who showed interest in her plan and gave her advice. >> translator: we can communicate with many people over the net. but it is difficult to trust people i get to know online. once we meet face to face, though, i can really relate to them. it would be ideal if i can create good ties with them. >> reporter: co-working spaces are helping create links among people in different lines of work by sharing those places as well as their ideas, young japanese are getting ready to start up new businesses. there were sudden spurts of
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rainfall this afternoon in tokyo. robert speta is here with the update for here and elsewhere. robert? >> we did see some thunderstorms activity earlier today. now it is moving off towards the east bringing some severe weather towards eastern portions of honshu in your monday evening. and unfortunately there has been one report of death now due to lightning strike out here. remember if you hear thunder outside, it could bring the risk of lightning with it, which could be very dangerous. i want to show you a picture from earlier today this is out of tokyo, actually. one of the leading enl ining e storms here, the rainfall with the gusts ahead of it. this is where you see the i haddest highest winds. going into tuesday, some unstable weather will continue to linger here in eastern honshu. this could be popping up some severe thunderstorms into the afternooning and & evening hours. to the west, high pressure starting to work its way in from the west, bringing some fairer weather with it. meanwhile, here in central china, you are seeing heavy rainfall, up to 200 millimeters
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could fall to the west of shanghai. in a separate system this could be bringing frequent lightning and even large hail at times as that continues to push off to the east. meanwhile, temperatures are dropping down in ulan batur behind that front. your tie is expecting to be about 12, the low could be down to minus 1. tropics remain rather warm. manila, 34. bangkok, 34 as well accompanied by afternoon and evening thunderstorms. look into the americas here, tropical storm beryl is continuing to push on shore, bringing heavy rainfall with it. didn't make landfall around midnight on monday morning here, right around jacksonville. now it is expected to continue to linger along first coast, across southern georgia, over towards northern florida and as doing so it going to bring in very heavy rainfall, up to 250 millimeters could be found in some locations here just towards the southwest of jacksonville. a broad area of rainfall expected over 100 millimeters of rain. especially just north of jacksonville, that moisture will
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continue to push on shore, bringing high waves with it. coastal flooding and also beach erosion is going to be high risk here across portions of eastern georgia. let's pull back the picture and look to the west. we have this frontal system coming across the plains now, extending to the great lakes region this is already brought some tornado activity with it and now going into the next 24 hours, unfortunately, more severe weather is expected. damaging winds, large hail and yet more tornadoes there. also down towards southern oklahoma, and also into northern texas, even a spot of unstable weather here going to be kinning to linger over towards new england. looking at temperatures ahead of that front, very warm, chicago, high of 34. behind it, cool air is spilling in from the north, denver, high of 24. lows could be down to the single digits overnight. freeze warnings have been posted across much of colorado, even extending off there towards the north. now towards europe, very warm weather is kinning to persist
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here in europe. berlin, saw temperatures to the mid-20s last several days. but this area of cloud cover across the scandinavian peninsula, this is a cold front diving in from the north. this will start to drop your temperatures down across much of central europe. for now, here in berlin, even off towards paris, mid-20s are expected. but as that continues to push towards the south, about the midteens can be seen here bied my week. now, here is a look at your extended outlook.
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we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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