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Former Local 10 reporter speaks about time in North Korea

North Korea threat 'if stirred,' Adrian Baschuk says

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The escalation of the long-simmering tension between the U.S. and North Korea has the international community concerned, but especially those who have been inside the reclusive regime.

"If we do invade or send an attack, we just don't know what's going to happen and that's concerning," former Local 10 News reporter Adrian Baschuk said.

Baschuk has previously reported from North Korea. He was working for Al Gore's Current TV in 2005 and, posing as a businessman, he was able to visit the secretive state. He said he was able to record with a camera that he had to smuggle in.

"I sort of had to hide it under my bag here with oranges and grapefruit on top of it," Baschuk said.

Baschuk said the state promotes paranoia of a U.S. invasion, even using English-language propaganda. The few North Koreans who would speak with him echoed that fear. 

"The American government is problem," one North Korean woman told Baschuk.

"You think America wants to attack North Korea?" Baschuk asked.

"Maybe, I think so," the woman said.

People in North Korea have no internet access and Baschuk believes that thinking hasn't changed inside the country.

"Now we're in such a wild card scenario on both sides that I am worried," Baschuk said. "I'm not sure what's going to happen if North Korea launches a nuclear missile just for a test."

Baschuk likens North Korea to a hermit kingdom that just wants to be left alone, but if pushed, he worries it will be a different story.

"I think they're a certain threat to the outside world, but only if stirred," Baschuk said.

Solo travel for an American doesn't exist in North Korea. Because Baschuk did not visit as a journalist and was in a group of 50 people with just one guide, he was able to see much more of the country.

He said, however, that is was only what the regime would want outsiders to see.


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