The Seattle Times published an informative article about an apartment building complex that collapsed in North Korea [“Pyongyang building collapse leaves many casualties,” Nation & World, May 18]. Officials are estimating that the death toll could be well into the hundreds, but an official count has not happened yet.
This tragedy is a significant situation because the North Korean government has issued a public apology. Only under the rarest of circumstances has Pyongyang ever admitted to any fault. The North Korean government does not want any kind of negative attention brought upon it, so the media are highly controlled by the state. North Korean citizens are misinformed on a day-to-day basis and are often flat-out lied to by their own government.
North Korea knows its time is running out. Pressure from the West, as well as many Asian countries such as China and Japan, is beginning to force North Korea to shy away from its typical controlling ways. This is only a small step, but a step in the right direction for North Koreans.
Andrew Kennedy, Seattle