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July 22, 2010

Money Shot at the DMZ

Paul J. Richards/AP
Paul J. Richards/AP


I was interested in these almost cinematic shots of Hillary at the Korean DMZ with the North Korean soldier peering through the window.

Angry with the North over their nuke program and their recent sinking of a S. Korean ship, the Obama Administration — complicit with the cutback in South Korean aid to the north, and having frozen bank assets of the North Korean elite (which BushCo relented on) — is framing itself as thoroughly badass. (Notice how Hillary’s shoulder aligns with the soldier’s gun.) The steely anger in Hillary’s face is completely intentional, of course, as she’s aware (in contrast to the smiling Gates) of the money shot. The photo is also a conscious study in contrast, playing on the sense of the soldier as being “left out”; trapped behind the dirty window (inferring, with moral as well as economic overtones, they probably don’t wash it on the other side); and likely suffering himself (the cinched belt likely a literal allusion to hunger).

Your thoughts?

(photos: Paul J. Richards/AP. Jul 21, 2010, Seoul, South Korea. Caption 1: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to a briefing as a curious North Korean soldier looks through the window to see what is going on inside the building at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Caption 2: U.S. Army Col. Kurt Taylor, right, briefs U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, 2nd right, at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ).)

  • black dog barking

    North Korea, on the outside looking in, not invited to the party, left out in the cold. These pics burn through their alloted thousand words with ease.

    There are some uneasy, disjointed elements in these images. For example, our NK eavesdropper looks to be about nine feet tall assuming everyone else is of normal height. It is hard to believe we’re standing at one of the most heavily guarded international borders on the planet. Looks like the inside of a farm house.

    Don’t imagine that if Clinton and Gates visited my home town I’d get that close to them. Especially wearing a side arm.

  • Seen differently…

    Strictly speaking I don’t think the glass is unwashed on any side. Just it is very thick bunch of many layers.

    Actually, I see a different symbolism here: the presence of NK soldier here is merely ghost-like: Present and not at the same time, being heavily armed and not able to harm anyone; the thick glass which isolates him…

  • http://justbetweenstrangers.blogspot.com/ acm

    I don’t get “steely anger” at all — perhaps a woman’s face should always be illuminated with a smile in order to improve her surroundings? yeesh. I see watchful and a little tired. perhaps she’s a bit bored by the boys and their war-game bonhommie…

    (but yes, the soldier outside the window — standing in the rain? — is a killer! a little undermined by the pics with another guy inside)

  • Gasho

    This North Korean soldier appears to be a common foot soldier – wet, faceless and in a common uniform. Come to think of it.. my impression of the entire hierarchy of North Korea is that there is one man with all of the power and then everyone else with none of it. This in stark contrast to the US, where there is a huge upper class tier that has massive wealth and power – and Hillary is certainly in that circle.

    How these two can be inches apart while military tensions are high like this is mind-blowing.

  • http://wisewebwoman.blogspot.com Wisewebwoman

    Exhausted and bored. One of the toughest and most unrewarding jobs on the planet and it’s all about school boy bullies.

  • http://usefuldissident.blogspot.com/ dissident

    Obama would have been to chicken to have entered into the same territory.

  • Bman

    Symbolic of the average NK including their soldiers. Left out in the cold with no idea of what is really going on in the world as it relates to them. What they receive is filtered by their government represented by the dirty glass.

  • http://photographereric.blogspot.com/ Sunny (Eric) Wu

    Thought the ROK ready soldiers were not to show emotion. LOL

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