Tag Archives: Korea

Dennis Rodman in Defence of Kim Jong-Un

Dennis Rodman’s trips to North Korea have been the subject of ridicule and controversy, especially his latest visit of Kim Jong-Un’s birthday party basketball game. CNN interviewer Chris Cuomo asked Rodman if he would take the chance to ask his friend Kim Jong-Un why they are holding Kenneth Bae, an US citizen, imprisoned.
Dennis Rodman

Rodman questioned Bae’s actions, ”If you understand what Kenneth Bae did …. Do you understand what he did in this country? Why is he held captive in this country?” and became defensive of the North Korean leader, “It’s amazing how we thrive on negativity. Does anyone know this guy’s only 31 years old?” he said of Kim.

“Dennis, he could be 31, he could be 51,” said Cuomo. “He’s just killed his uncle. He’s holding an American hostage.”

Rodman has expressed love for Kim, preferring to not judge the man who just killed his uncle, rather judge the man imprisoned for conducting religious services in North Korea.

The Defector Listed As One Of Canada’s Top Films Of 2013

The Defector has been listed as one of the top Canadian films of 2013 by Huffington Post and MovieFone:
“Director and centrepiece for the documentary, Ann Shin, is an inspiration. Not only does she draw critical attention to a very urgent issue (the defection of North Koreans), she actually gets as close as she can to the actual defection route – which is way more complicated as you can imagine.”
A great way to end 2013 – Happy New Year!

The Defector Interactive Wins Digi Award!

Last night in Toronto, Next Media Events hosted their annual Digi Awards to celebrate the companies, products and people making waves in the digital media industry. We are proud to announce that The Defector Interactive won the award for Best in Cross Platform Non-Fiction!
If you have haven’t yet had the chance to use the Interactive, you can still check it out - experience.thedefectormovie.com
Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote in the online poll, we might never have gotten the nomination without your help!

And congratulations to all the other Digi Award winners!


The International Premiere of #TheDefector a Success!

Thank you to everyone who came to the first ever screening of The Defector: Escape from North Korea at the Internation Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam! You have helped make this film a success and we are happy to share it with you.

For those of you who could not attend, we are so excited fo a chance to come to a city near you! In the meantime, here are some photos from IDFA!


Director Ann Shin with The Defector poster


Q&A with director Ann Shin


What a good looking audience! Thanks for coming out!

For more photos and IDFA updates visit our Facebook Page.

Want in on the conversation? Find us on twitter @TheDefectorMov and tag with #EscapeNorthKorea

Exhibit showing rare images of life behind the iron curtain- Check it out this Tuesday!


The exhibition will feature over 100 photographs of daily life inside North Korea, plus videos shot by North Koreans and drawings by prison camp survivors depicting their experience inside the camps. Refugees seeking asylum in Toronto will also be present to talk about their escape experiences.

Check out the exhibit Tuesday, November 22, 2011 from 6-7:30pm at The Korea Times, 287 Bridgeland Ave in Toronto, Ontario.

#Seoul to host the first ever #NorthKorean Human Rights International Film Festival


International Films about North Korean human rights will be screened at Dongguk University from November 10-11, 2011. It is the first ever film festival of its kind, helping in the effort to confront human rights issues through film. Maybe we’ll be there next year!


For the list of screenings and directions (if you happen to be in Seoul next week) can be found at NKnet.com.

Balloons carrying radios and #US dollars launched by #defectors into #NorthKorea


Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

A group of North Korean defectors launched 10 balloons across the Demilitarized Zone from Imjungak, South Korea on Monday, marking the death of prominent defector – party secretary Hwang Jang-yop who defected in 1997. The balloons contained leaflets describing Hwang’s efforts, along with photos of his burial at a national cemetery, an honour reserved only for higher powers in the North. The balloons also contained 1000 US $1 bills and 100 radios for people to access Radio Free Asia and other news. Organized by the Fighters for Free North Korea, they have sent many rounds of propaganda filled balloons into North Korea. KCNA, the official news agency in North Korea, sees the act as nothing less than “an overt act of war against fellow Koreans.” 

Article on the latest event: The Chosun Ilbo

Further reading on past Fighters for Free North Korea balloon launches:
CNN World
New Scientist

Pictures on the propaganda power of balloon launches:
The Boston Globe

The North Korean Dynasty: Kim Jong-il’s grandson dyes hair blonde, loves democracy and Love Actually


News reports around the world have ended up on the Facebook pages of two of Kim Jong-Il’s legacy- his son Kim Jong-nam and grandson, Kim Han-sol. Part of the select few of the North Korean dynasty forced to live in exile outside of North Korea, these two prefer democracy. Images and text ridiculing the North Korean elite can be found on Kim Jong-nam’s profile, but it is Kim Han-sol’s Facebook and Twitter that have the media buzzing. With bleached blonde hair, earrings, a girlfriend, and a stated preference of democracy over communism, Kim Han-sol represents a generational gap within the elite. Simply having social media accounts expresses a modernity and an openness that is denied within North Korea. This leaves us here to wonder about the future of the dynasty as a younger generation, Kim Jong-un, begins to take over.

Full stories, pictures and videos can be found at <a href="http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/10/03/2011100300523.html http://bit.ly/qlX3hQ“>The Chosun Ilbo

A family of 9 North Korean defectors are rescued off the coast of Japan on September 13th

Three men, three women and three children were brought safely to a Japanese shore after escaping North Korea on September 8th in a small 24-foot wooden boat. The family was trying to head to South Korea in order to seek asylum. By the time Japanese coast guards found them they had run out of fresh drinking water and had only a small amount of rice and pickled vegetables left, and all were without life jackets. One of the men claims he was an official of the North Korean army, and his fleeing suggests that starvation due to this summer’s drought is no longer just affecting civilians, but the military as well.


Photo retrieved from english.caijing.com.cn

The family is only one of three groups of North Korean defectors to ever make it safely to Japanese shores, the first in 1987 and the second in 2007. Seoul is ready to welcome the group, and we wish them a safe journey.

Full article and pictures at The Telegraph

Korea’s DMZ has become a UNESCO ecological reserve with 2,716 different species


Photo retrieved from Constain B. via Treehugger

For the past 59 years, no one has lived in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ was established at the end of the Korean War, and one of the unexpected benefits of this Cold War arrangement is that the land has become a haven for plants and wildlife. 2,716 species of flora and fauna thrive there, including many endangered animals. The goal is to allow the area to develop in an eco-friendly way, allowing people and nature to coexist and to promote ecotourism.
For the full article, visit The Chosun