What North Korean Defectors Think of Korea

What North Korean Defectors Think of Korea

2017, Politics  -    -  Playlist 13 Comments
Ratings: 7.61/10 from 49 users.

Most of what the world knows about North Korea comes from the impersonal reporting of daily journals and the nightly news. These illuminating conversations titled What North Korean Defectors Think offer a much more relatable and human perspective on what it's like to exist under the weight of an oppressive dictatorship.

The film features interviews with an appealing young man and woman who share no relation outside of their strikingly similar life journeys. These former North Korean citizens faced great danger when they both attempted to defect. Luckily, they proved successful in their efforts, but they were well aware of the consequences they would have faced if they were caught in the act.

The first segment of the film addresses these dangers and the other harsh realities North Koreans must confront in their day-to-day existence. Like most of the country's embattled inhabitants, both interview subjects underwent extreme scarcities of food and electricity, and witnessed immense hardship and death from an early age.

Through their haunting testimonies, we learn of the great famine that gripped the country in the 1990s when over 3 million North Koreans perished from starvation under the rule of Kim Jung Il. They share their memories of escaping their home country, and their accounts are fraught with an edge-of-your-seat tension. After all, they both would have suffered execution on a massive public stage if they had been captured.

In the second segment of the film, the subjects discuss their attempts to build a better life for themselves in South Korea. Their new home offered a thriving cultural landscape and greater freedoms than they had ever experienced before. This transition presented them both with a tremendously challenging, eye-opening and rewarding learning experience.

Finally, they share the hopes and fears they still harbor for their homeland. In most respects, conditions in North Korea have only worsened with the rise of Kim Jung Un, and they worry for the safety of those family members they left behind.

With probing insight and great sensitivity, What North Korean Defectors Think puts a human face on one of the most controversial regions of the world.

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Jean-Pierre Tardif
3 years ago

We are all the same: only Human wanting peace.

5 years ago

What a piece of propaganda trash, the US is a police state shooting anyone espically blacks who don’t get in line.
Thousands of her defenders military people blow their heads off routinely obviously for the love of our country?
Millions are homeles and inocent school kids get blown away by a few for their loves and rights of owning killer weapons.
Talk about. F—- Country we’re living it, but don’t forget it’s all about being free!

5 years ago

uhh before shooting down these first hand accounts of life in N.korea why not remember that these people had to FLEE as in escape under threat of death just to leave. What kind of nation holds it's own people hostage. The realities of those in death and cencentration camps during WWII are also horrendously unbelievable but we know it was all true (unless u ppl are also Holocaust deniers). I don't doubt some exaggeration, but even so the treatment of the people is not what we would call free or what any of us would want to live in.

5 years ago

watching porn underthe blankets without electricity! imagine!

6 years ago

Seems to be a dilemma. People don't listen, so many cannot hear what is there. They filter for things that don't makes sense (to them) or things they have been trained against, instead of hearing.

Underground guards with holes to shoot from. Why doesn't that make sense? An excavated, built, then covered back over guard station near the river with eye level window/slits for firing guns rather than a "guard tower" which would be an easy target for any advancing enemy ...or escapee to observe. Similar can be found in the usa and other countries along coasts and border rivers from WW2. That or berms and semi buried pill boxes.

One could guess that "rope" is available in China cheap enough so not much market for that. But a special cable or rope of blasting material, since from a MINE might have a market in China. It seems the usa education system, when it comes to anything that isn't spoon fed or designed to garner an emotional response, sucks hind udder.

4 generations would go back to great grandparents. If the Norks don't have much TV they just might have a number of great grandparents. What they are saying is the govt eliminates the whole family NOW, not back when these interviewees escaped. This is not rocket science. That is why she is still able to communicate with family members (before the flood) because with her supposed method of using Chinese service the NorKs don't know a defector is calling family in NorKville. I would dearly love to say things like get a drill and open up your ears or pull your heads out of your backsides but it wouldn't help.

@Eugenia D. why not leave this "deathshiteprison"? These NorKs should have inspired you to go elsewhere. Working for a living so you are not a tax burden to everyone else isn't for everyone. Go to NorK where people laugh about their lack of food. Or you could get a govt job at a remote national park where you get way overpaid for your abilities and still be a tax burden to everyone else. Or in most states there are rural areas with farms, where you could easily escape from the materialism of the big cities...and after awhile yearn for some materialism over staring at cacti or muck. But they would expect you to actually work.

I don't know who or what is behind "Asian Boss" media. Might help in understanding why this docu at this time. The "interviewer" asks us to bring this issue to the attention of as many as possible. What issue? Which issue? That NorKs are happier while starving than SouKs are with all their tech, materialism, competition, and stress? Sounds like a perfect time for reunification so they can have a happy medium, more food and freedom for the North and less stress and suicide for the South. Maybe they can teach each other. Unlikely to happen without war. The Kim's don't want to give up power. The Souks don't want to give up freedom and food.

The one strange thing was that the NorK said the NorKs have a capitalist system. I wonder if he is as misinformed about capitalism as most people are; it would seem so. Capitalism is the ability to freely trade among yourselves without interference, such as from govt.

What did I learn? Not much. Except that people need to keep in mind what is truly important. If you are not into having to compete with everyone for everything, grow a commodity crop where you have a ready made market. Then you can stress about the weather, crop disease, govt, etc. may do to ruin you, rather than what the next guy, gal, company, etc. is doing to supplant you.

If you have enough time and equipment to watch this video, then you don't have it that bad. Being appreciative for what you do have is far more helpful than being a hater. Attitude is key. No one any where wants someone with a bad attitude. Not even your mother, she just tolerates it. No one sane ever said life was fair. However, in the last few decades there has been a lot of socialist propagandists wanting to create angry haters for their agenda, claiming "life SHOULD be fair". Yet their end result is much less freedom to choose what you want and how you want it. Basically a vast population of misery loves company with the govt elites enjoying the lap of luxury at the expense of the rest; rather than entrepreneurs bringing something people value, getting rewarded. Socialism is a pyramid scheme where the propagandists at the top get rewarded for bring negative value to the rest. Brilliant...

What value does govt bring to most capable people with a decent attitude, nearly zero. Do people with a good considerate attitude need to be policed? No. Govt services? No. They go find something better. Do they need the courts to settle disputes? No. If reasonable they settle it themselves. So we have a huge bloated govt, growing bigger all the time for what? Because some socialist propagandists have turned people into being haters and unreasonable and inconsiderate in order to convert a great thing with some problems into a big problem for everyone else but it being great for those few at the top.

Gus Brunson
6 years ago

The stories don't really make any sense.
1) When the river freezes you can just walk across to China, but have to be careful with guards underneath ready to shoot at you?
2) A man cuts a few meters of rope from a mine to sell it to China?
maybe its the translation, but nothing makes sense...also I would not trust entirely their stories since they are defectors. I have no sympathy for a government that is so closed like North Korea, however a lot of these defector's stories seems far fetched. North Korea today is a sort of mecca for animation companies from Europe who sends their projects over there to be drawn. Although the European animators that goes to NK say that is very strange country, most also say that a lot of the population enjoy a reasonable normal life.

6 years ago

4 generations? grandparents ,parents ,children and relatives and ? the 4th generation? the children are executed so they certainly wont themselves have children so....some exaggeration.

Mark Gaboury
6 years ago

How could anyone give this less than a perfect score? The most interesting interviews that I ever seen, I think.

Eugenia Debante
6 years ago

I would rather starve to death free of the Murkin empire
than live "free" in this deathshiteprison of materialist insanity.

Luka Savić
6 years ago

This is just stupid, we all know the defectors lie by now, its a FACT! Like she says now its more terrible than it was, they kill your whole family, but her family is well and living in NK, she talks to them and everything like wtf why do you lie you are filmed! I dont say there are no crimes commited , well there are crimes all over the world. But dont lie just so there could be a war, we saw that kind of lies many times, from iraq, libya, afghan.....

Joseph Carl Ruger
6 years ago

When, not if, Dictator Kim lights off a nuke in anger, the dust will settle with a kind of relief, as the whole world realizes what a mistake it was to keep this country isolated.