North Korea Hospital through a visit by an American reporter
2 mins read

North Korea Hospital through a visit by an American reporter

Foreign reporters at Pyongyang maternity hospital.

Anna Fifield, Washington Post bureau chief in Tokyo, Japan, recounts her working experience as part of a three-person team sent to Pyongyang.

Jang Su Ung, who supervises (North Korea calls it `takes care of`) foreign reporters working in Pyongyang, reminded three American reporters: `You ask too many questions. This makes it a bit difficult for me when

About 60 reporters were taken to Pyongyang maternity hospital, which usually welcomes international press.

Reporting news about North Korea is still rare, even though the press is invited to historical sites, power plants, and maternity hospitals.

On the road, a reporter asked himself: `How many things are staged and how many things happen naturally?`.

The hospital visit on May 7 was similar to what Fifield saw 11 years ago, requiring him to wear a white shirt and using plastic bags to cover his shoes, avoiding introducing toxic bacteria into the hospital.

`I thought this was admirable. I looked closely at the little faces and felt so relieved to see a pair of single eyelids blinking softly.`

Then, Fifield went to the lab, met with doctor Yoon Chol Ho, and asked if international sanctions would make it difficult for them to get the technology they needed for their work.

Dr. Yoon responded in exemplary North Korean fashion: `We have difficulties due to UN and US sanctions. That’s why we have to learn how to make equipment. Great Marshal

When Fifield asked Yoon how he got access to the Internet, he said he went to the building across the street, three to four times a week.

Before Yoon responded to Fifield, she said she felt at least five or more hospital staff members, along with supervisors, forming a circle around her.

The hand on Fifield’s back pushed harder, and she had to step away, heading to the women’s health area.

When he entered the clinic, Fifield saw a Siemens X-ray machine imported from China.

Next, Fifield went to a hospital room, where a patient in pink clothes was sitting there.

`Is this woman really sick? Is she a real patient? We will never know. Suddenly, the supervisor said it was time for us to go to the bus,` Fifield recounted.

See more: North Korea releases high-quality close-up photos of Kim Jong-un

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