Children of the Secret State

Children of the Secret State

2011, Society  -   72 Comments
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Ratings: 7.90/10 from 40 users.

Children of the Secret StateNorth Korea, a country of 22 million. Up to 3 million of its' people have starved to death in the last 10 years. More than 40% of North Korean children now suffer from chronic malnutrition.

Children of the Secret State is an investigation into North Korea, considered by many as the last Stalinist dictatorship, a hidden and sealed country riddled with propaganda and saturated with hostility to democracy and the West.

Joe Layburn and the Hardcash team discovered a young North Korean, known by the pseudonym Ahn Chol, who has been filming undercover so that the world can see what is going on in his native land: the country where his parents both starved to death.

His devastating footage shows some of the estimated 200,000 street children, mainly orphans, foraging for food in the mud and the gutters, ignored by the adults around them and ignored by the state which claims they are at its bosom.

Directed by: Carla Garapedian

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Tania
Tania
3 years ago

Sad doco. Not just international governments not stepping in. But what are professional mercenaries, assassins, snipers - all these specialist outfits globally doing? The hundred/thousand/million/billion-Aires doing? Nothing! Because there's no money exchanged. It's just being left to everyday charitable people & orgs trying to help our fellow man someway. How tragic!

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

The idea is to create a festering boil, which can be removed by the military regime. Since the silla age when Seongjong was in power he never once allowed his own people to prosper or it would look like they were rallying against him. This kind of psychological aspect is why Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un relies on pure eradication of the undesirables within North Korea. The only person who ever did anything for the people was Kim's grandfather who helped bolster the economy, provided jobs, changed political issues inside of the government allowing farmers more leeway, and helped idealize a dream. After stepping down, and his son Kim Jong Il took office it was all over for every citizen.

Children were the worst off because their parents were either imprisoned, or sent to some labor force work camp for lengthy periods of time building the present leader's army's military might. Construction of tanks, weapons, helicopters, carriers, and other forms of destruction is the only thing Un wants since he appointed himself as Grand Marshal, which was against the main political body's wishes. Some may not know this but underneath the throne room of his grand hall sits a huge pile of gold, which is used for purchasing technology to help advance his armaments. All of that gold was once the people's monetary fund but was confiscated over the past fifty years for fear of an uprising by his own populace.

It is estimated at a value of over five hundred billion dollars, with another two hundred billion in reserve that he also uses to illegally purchase contraband, and smuggling it in using the local ports, or private contacts in china. That money could feed the entire country four times over in a course of eight years. Yet as with all leaders of power... especially in north korea they do not adhere to or copulate agreements in order to stop the suffering because they do not want to see it or hear it. If kim sees a child picking food out of muddy waters he will only think... "Where is my private security so he can shoot this thing?" He doesn't consider the korean people to be human. He considers them to be expendable in any way possible. He would even use a child to shield himself from a possible sniper.

Myathewolfeh
Myathewolfeh
8 years ago

North Korea is has the most disgusting excuse for a government I have ever seen. It can call the West greedy, corrupt, and selfish, but in the end we don't have starving children being ignored on our streets. Sickening.

kender
kender
9 years ago

And..what? Are we the viewers supposed to believe that the guard depicted didn't participate in the killings? And we're supposed to think that he somehow "developed" a conscience? By what osmosis? The young man, who graphically describes the brutality of the camps when he himself was, by his own words, forced to participate lest he be considered "ideologically unsound".... did he too suddenly develop a conscience? The whole scenario seems contrived. This is not to say that I don't believe these things are happening, just that people who are conditioned to believe and do these awful deeds, don't magically develop a conscience one day out of the blue and realize that what they have been doing all this time is now wrong, and they are going to make an about-face, with nothing at all to prod them. What is the motivation of these whistleblowers, who before saw nothing wrong with their actions?

Eric Lawson
Eric Lawson
9 years ago

Sad treatment of prisoners !!

Eric Lawson
Eric Lawson
9 years ago

Never knew Korea was growing Opium. Does not surprise me. They are desperate for money and have no real cash crops.Can only imagine how much money is being made in Afghanistan by the medical Drug companies for opiate crops.Would like to have seen the whole Doc . Good job bringing this to light !!!!!

bluetortilla
bluetortilla
10 years ago

It's back on Youtube. Infuriating that Discovery/Time withheld free viewing of this.

Davinah
Davinah
10 years ago

one link only , 3 links missing. please change that link let us see the whole documentary

Justnfree
Justnfree
11 years ago

It's their government that starves them, But US barbaric sanctions.

Ann Rhodes
Ann Rhodes
11 years ago

Ahn Chol is an example of the best of humanity. I don't think I'd ever manage even an ounce of his moral and intellectual courage.

CloakOfObscurity
CloakOfObscurity
11 years ago

The issue surrounding intervention in North Korea has little to do with oil, profit, money, etc. as has been suggested. China is a very close ally with NK and at any given time, China has more military officers outfitted for combat than the United States has total population. Add to it that we now know that NK has nuclear warheads that have been tested.

I'm sure that the international community has studied the big picture and realizes that intervening in NK's affairs would result in substantially greater damage to the rest of the world.

The consumerism of Western society has made China an economic and geopolitical powerhouse. Through continuing to outsource production of goods to China, we are supporting their economy, their politics and their support of North Korea. The dismantling of China's power and influence has to start from the ground up. The less outsourcing that the west does to places like China, the weaker their economy becomes and the more likely they will be to negotiate with respect to human rights, political allegiances, food, etc. issues in order to try to regain global marketshare and restrengthen their economy.

We need to make conscientious decisions to withhold economic support from countries that default with respect to human rights, etc.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Gandhi

Sara tayeb
Sara tayeb
12 years ago

someone shud assasinate their governer..and chnge their entire system of corruption.

Sickening. but thanks for upload

Guest
Guest
12 years ago

Video removed?

Anthony Young
Anthony Young
12 years ago

I heard a large shipment of food aid to the country was halted because of an upcoming missle test by NK..I think we should just send the food anyway, although, it would probably end up going to the state anyway, so nevermind. The regime in NK has to be removed at all costs I think. I don't think they have the nuclear ability they boast, it would be a killer war, but for gods sake, these people desrve some help from the world. Russia should be leading on this, they are resposible in part for causing this mess, they installed the regime.

Nathan Jongwon Choi
Nathan Jongwon Choi
13 years ago

sad story... as a south korean, I cannot accept this insanity.
Until I watched this documentary, I haven't thought about them at all.
Shame on my ignorance... The most insane thing is even western people can visit this poor country but south korean can not even think about it.

Ella Silver
Ella Silver
13 years ago

wtf do you mean USA still sending food to this country?? Clearly it's not helping anyone who needs help. Shut it down, for christsake. The more aid that enters this sham of a country, the more their children starve. I will personally never support any organization or nation that sends money to these greedy welfare pigs that only use this aid to perpetuate a system of torture and greed and selfish insanity. Never have i seen anything so f***ed. I don't know who this moron thinks he's fooling. Even those poor people know better.

Just213
Just213
13 years ago

@ Will, I created an account JUST so I could comment to you. 1st: There were children that wer all smiles, singing & dancing, so the resources used to do that could be shared. 2nd: How can u say in one sentence that they could sell equip. to make money & feed kids, then in the very next say that they are exporting their food. If concern for ppl @ home is most imporatnt, then they should feed their ppl 1st!

Why not teach people to farm? Or if it is that crucial, why keep having children? For food? For work? Even working the kids is a failure because they hardly make it to ages they can work.

And what about using farm land for drug production? How is this the US's fault? Matter of fact, by eliminating the production of the drug would effectually benefit the US.

It is pointless to place blame. It is necessary to address the problems. From the top down. In the end, the children suffer. Babies. If anything your arrogance and self-deception is appaling!

Will
Will
13 years ago

Westerners are so arrogant about things like this. you guys are so quick to criticise Kim Jong II and the communists. but keep in mind America DIRECTLY caused this. If the U.S didnt put its extreme sanctions on N. Korea they could be selling Military hardware and at least have enough feed to feed their people... not to mention how western made exchange rates make it more profitable to export food from a starving country... and allow companies from industrial countries to employ 3rd world workers for less money than they would pay a slave.

Sarah V.
Sarah V.
13 years ago

I second watching the Vices Guide to North Korea. This documentary was heart breaking. Some weird shit goes down in North Korea and I'm sick that it hasn't been stopped. The Vices Guide to North Korea explores the facade a bit more..What a piece of shit is Kim Jong Il.

aaangie
aaangie
13 years ago

This is so very very sad. But it seems the way of the world nowadays for governments to be corrupt

Rodrigo
Rodrigo
13 years ago

Where the childrens are just poor hungry dogs.
Share to all your friends this video.
Its importante and the most eficiente we can help.
Shared to all my friends!!!
Peace and Love

bill
bill
13 years ago

where's GW, "we need to help the people of i-rack" oh wait, N korea doesnt have oil...

Alice
Alice
13 years ago

when a human is malnourished, their hair does not grow. i cant believe that people grow suspicious over something so trivial. look at the big picture.

rozee
rozee
13 years ago

My heart is broken. The cruelty, the indifference, the insanity. Where has love gone?

PC
PC
13 years ago

Unfortunately, as long as North Korea hides behind China, it will be impossible for the UN to do anything as China has veto power. And unfortunately, North Korea is not the only regime brutalizing its people -- Burma immediately comes to mind, as does many nations in Africa and the Middle East.

The UN was created to prevent these atrocities and instead it's simply become overly politicized.

Aequitas
Aequitas
13 years ago

On another note, anyone interested in this should watch The Vice Guide to North Korea.

Aequitas
Aequitas
13 years ago

Not gonna lie, that chicken noodle soup I ate while watching this was awesome.

Tepu
Tepu
13 years ago

USA should let North Korean people out from their misery, as they did for for Iraqi people.

jwd
jwd
13 years ago

@jacob

Actually, the clean slate thing was my impressions as well but humans apparently have certain needs embedded from birth as well as base instincts.

Randy
Randy
13 years ago

@Sarah

Absolutely. My fatalistic comments above notwithstanding... (I am an old cranky guy...).

Where do we draw the line? If we, or the U.N., were to take over N. Korea, which terrible power would be next? And where would we get the money for all this Roman Empireal Conquest?

Isn't that what all the evil conquerors in history used to justify their throttling of the world, "I know better than they do, so I better just take control of their country... you know... for their own good!"

Sarah
Sarah
13 years ago

Watching this has made me really sad. To think that so many people live this way--it's really depressing.
Still, I don't agree with those people who say we should take out the North Korean government or whatever. We don't have that right. If North Korea is to reform, it must happen naturally, by itself, and by the volition of its own citizens/next leader of Korea.

Randy
Randy
13 years ago

This is horror, but this sort of thing has been going on, all over the world, since the beginning of human civilization and will continue on long after we are all dust.

We are a miserable, fudamentally insane species, that really needs to die off and make way for Nature's next experiment...

'Cause, brothers and sisters, this one has failed tragically...

Bianca
Bianca
13 years ago

lol @Shane, and I wonder how anyone could watch such a tragedy and spend most of their time noting the haircuts... Those children are sick and dieing. Maybe if you tried not eating for months your hair will look better :P

Get real.

Next you're going to tell me that if you pause at a certain point in the film you see one of those kids checking their e-mail on their Iphones.

Shane
Shane
13 years ago

Regarding the hair length of the orphan children in the video, malnutrition can contribute to a reduced metabolic rate which can cause reduced hair growth and thinning. That seems to me by far the most likely explanation.

Or

Conspiracy theorists may prefer this explanation:
The children were method actors from the actors studio who prepared for the role for a number of months by losing one third of their body weight. Make-up applied by Jay Alexander. Hair cut by Vidal Sassoon. Spielberg couldn't say no to the 10,000,000 dollars the CIA were offering him for a few days of direction. 10 mill seems like a lot to offer a venerable old hasbeen, but he showed his ability to elicit horror in Schindlers List, and ET rocked.

Jacob M
Jacob M
13 years ago

"you subconsciously think “what’s in it for me?” because it’s the human nature. There is no human being on this planet who never thinks of his/her advantage, it’s a survival instinct. Some people are just better at hiding it."

Also Igor, your preaching at everyone doesn't make any since. You say that it is human nature to be greedy, i strongly disagree. Children raised by dogs act like dogs. Children raised by Kim Jong Il act like Kim Jong Il. We are blank slates, not inherently greedy.

Jacob M
Jacob M
13 years ago

@Igor Come on dude really? Nuclear Strike? I feel bad for people who's only true solution is complete destruction.

IgorV
IgorV
13 years ago

That is completely f***** up. I have seen a lot of stuff on the Internet and this clip is one of the few that actually touched me. I mean, even if the UN stepped in and took over one way or another, what to do with all the people who have been seeing this behavior below any human conduct happen every single day of their lives to their friends and loved ones? How would a child get used to, lets say a large modern western city after forced to kill or even eat his/her family members? How would they react to the amount of consumption and emptiness of our culture?

Imagine, you finally get to the promised land but the people are as ruthless and self-centered as those soldiers with their warm meals. Just think about how many homeless people you have ignored while coming back from the store with a bag of chips and a soda to watch this kind of documentary and feel bad about those poor children. Because I have.

I seriously think that if even half of those stories about prison camps and cannibalism are true the only humane solution would be a tactical nuclear strike. Think about it. First growing up in a very hostile environment full of violence, cannibalism and totalitarian military oppression and then you are brought to a major European city, given a foster home and eventually a small flat and some money every month. If you are lucky that is. Then you are basically on your own because you can't apply any immigrant-training program to these people. These people have been in Auschwitz for all their lives and suddenly they find themselves in a large metropolis full of money and lights and entertainment and most importantly those drugs their "comrades" are making back home. The "normal" people would be looking down at them. Pity them, but not enough to give a shit so they would inevitably end up at the lowest class of society and find themselves in a new form of slavery. The living conditions would improve but it would not be freedom. Most of them would just snap, especially those from prison camps. Many of them would turn into criminal life, and with their backgrounds really cold and merciless ones devoid of any feelings.

That's why I think that for the most deeply damaged citizens, the ones who have seen the worst, a fast and as painless death as possible would be the best way to help. Yes that guard and kid seemed to act normal but you could see from their eyes how haunting those memories are and what it had done. Add 20 million people like them and disperse them all over the world to different kinds of societies with different kinds of social service if at all. Do you get the big picture?
Like someone said here, US of f*****' A doesn't care about people, it cares about profit. Well this applies basically to every country and every human being. No matter how "good" you are, when something is proposed, you subconsciously think "what's in it for me?" because it's the human nature. There is no human being on this planet who never thinks of his/her advantage, it's a survival instinct. Some people are just better at hiding it.

Of course you could have massive charity campaigns and concerts in three of the G8 countries and people would give some dimes while watching it from television in their homes and feel a little bit better about themselves and their consumption. Maybe even write a small text to Facebook with a link to the donation. Look, I gave five bucks to the starving children of North Korea, im such a good person.

Dropping scraps for children to feed themselves? Where do I sign up? Maybe Bono would write a nice song about it and perform it with Elton John before flying back home in their private jets. Concerts and campaigns would end, the media would find something even more devastating to sell and all those good, beautiful people who care so much would lose their interest because average memory span of a western consumer is about as long as a commercial break.

Lion
Lion
13 years ago

I'm just curious as to why it seems like the orphan children have decent haircuts? Just seems quite suspicious to me actually.

Mirclekel
Mirclekel
13 years ago

I am gravely disturbed that adults with food in front of them are choosing to ignore the children. That is more disturbing and heartwrenching than anything else in this film. Why or how could they act as if these innocent children do not exist. Selfish Bastards. It is the PEOPLE who are heartless and have no soul!

tridant
tridant
13 years ago

funny,i dont see the US of A going after this dictator.....if only north Korea had oil maybe they would be saved.American interest is in profit.God help those poor kids as the most powerfull nation in the world wont.Help dont equal wealth.Few bags of grain is like throwing a feather at an elephant.Go in and take the midget out!!!

Mo
Mo
13 years ago

Please provide english subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Aram
Aram
13 years ago

Political will and commitment can only put an end to such an atrocity and isnt the attitude of the respective governments so damn rude towards children and noone could do anything about it?

louiseiiid
louiseiiid
14 years ago

I am heartbroken at this documentary. Those poor sweet children. How is it that the local people just shoo them away, as though they were flies, at the markets?

Resorting to eating human flesh - when they cannot grow good crops, by governmental decree whilst food gifts are sold on the black market - can humans sink any lower than North Korea? I don't think so.

Why do China and South Korea just send these poor bastards back to the North, knowing that they will be severely punished, if not,executed?

God, hat miserable lives.

isana5
isana5
14 years ago

I hope, Kim Jong-il is in deepest hell...

Mariar
Mariar
14 years ago

How can grown a** adults sit around eating big bowls of white rice and golden fried fish with or without soy sauce.

And to know those little children are picking scraps out the wet mud, how sad and why show the rich children all dress up and looking like a living fairy tale, What beautiful voice the songs they were singing.

I couldn't watch the rest it too much suffering.

Cliff
Cliff
14 years ago

@jo:

wha? you can't be serious. i live in korea right now and it's all definitely true. the south korean government is pretty much the only thing keeping the north from totally devastation. at the end of the day, the north and south are still family.

jo
jo
14 years ago

think the credits could give some mention that the film certainly looks directed by the cia. if you like your propaganda in the form of the eternal jew type film watch away

ElishaShemuel
ElishaShemuel
14 years ago

The nice and phony tour of N Korea was too much of a perfect facade. All those people have to keep up that big fat lie just the russians do. They end up not knowing a lie from the truth. They become mentally mad.
The tour: It reminded me of the overwhelming phoniness (witchcraft, sorcery, wicked imagination) of the teachings of disney land. Disneyland has building; as the Kremlin buildings in russia that look like Disneyland, a fairy tale world or Disney-world. Nice and phony fairyland of wishes and dreams of witches and sorcerers (Mr N Korea believed this lie and is living it). We teach our own kids this stuff fairy tales, Santa Clause, Easter Bunny etc. Then when we see what Kim dictator Korean man does after he has been taught this same crap we have a fit. Every American teaches their children this fairy tale crap is good. Now look at your sin in North Korea come to fruition.

Its begun to crash, just as the criminals in the USA government, It will come down crashing and keep on crashing upon them, all their own wicked deeds they will reap; as all of them do. They will all be caught and recompensed one day, Just like sad-dam Hussein's recompense, even his face all over the news, caught like an animal caught while hiding like a rat in a hole.

pete b
pete b
14 years ago

heart wrenching, im seriously broken hearted right now, how can people be so cold to see a lil girl with no water and no food and ignore her, im literally in tears, what a cold world we live in, and we take for granted how truly fortunate we are to live where we live.

Jack
Jack
14 years ago

The children all seem to have reasonably fresh hair cuts... where and how do they get them I wonder??