Tag Archives: North Korean dynasty


The Defector: Escape from North Korea is now available on iTunes in the US and other territories now. This suspenseful documentary follows a human smuggler leading defectors escaping from North Korea  It just won Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards (Canada’s Academy awards). And is available for viewing here:
The film is also available for theatrical and educational screenings, Tugg will organize it with you. For those of you who are looking to organize a screening, but have no budget, there is an option for you too! Gather enough ticket pre-sales and the film will come to your local cinema – check out the Tugg website for the hosting details:

JOL Interview With Ann Shin: North Korea is More Dangerous to Flee Than Ever

A new interview with The Defector director, Ann Shin, in JOL Press discusses the ways in which the the changing North Korean political environment is making it more difficult for defectors to escape the country.
Since coming to power, Kim Jong-Un has strengthened control measures and security posts on the border between North Korea and China, to put an end to attempts to escape North Korean citizens . It also increased the penalties against border guards may receive bribes defectors.”
Read the full article here

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 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!


Former North Korean spy calls the country a cult

A former North Korean spy is speaking out about the regime, and the control Kim Jong-un is trying to hold over their military. Kim Hyun-hee was plucked from her schoolyard in North Korea, and taken to a private military school where she was trained to be a spy. In 1987 she played a key role in the bombing of an aircraft en route to Seoul, killing all 115 passengers.

Originally sentenced to death, the South Korean government pardoned her because she was brainwashed. 


Kim Hyun-hee, center, with South Korean investigators Dec. 15, 1987. SUNKYU IM/AFP/Getty Images

In her public statement to Australia’s ABC television, she claims that the North Korea is “not a state, it’s a cult.” It was not until she was in South Korea, where she currently lives, that she realized she had been lied to. 

It is a common story from defectors, who must face the realization that life is not what they were told in North Korea. Everything they have learned growing up, what their parents and teachers taught them, must all be broken down. To experience what it takes to escape North Korea, visit The Defector Interactive at experience.thedefectormovie.com.

Read Kim Hyun-hee’s full story in the National Post.


North Korea Video – Two Tickets to the Gun Show

The latest North Korean propaganda video to be uploaded on their official Uriminzokkiri YouTube Channel shows off some particularly anti-US sentiments. The video titled “A Short, Three Day War” has since been taken off YouTube, but those left on the site can help paint a pretty good picture.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VQ7NjGeIRw?list=UUknqqNd3-joIjWzf1Jn4oVQ]

Along with the video, the DPRK has also realeased an image of a troop-landing drill filled with photoshopped images of hover-crafts.



Although clearly fake, the chest-puffing image was released as the North put its rocket units on combat status along with a threat to target US bases. The United States has responded by flying a B-2 stealth bomber “deterrence” mission over South Korea. A US military statement said the mission “Demonstrated the United States’ ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will.”



Unimpressed, North Korea views the drill as a “hideous politically-motivated terrorism of the US and the South Korean puppet forces targeting the dignified social system in the DPRK.” 

As the political plot thickens, coverage of North Korean citizens remains an untouched topic. Escape from the country is harder than ever, and the famine persists. 


A Tourist’s North Korea: candid photos from inside #NorthKorea

Visiting North Korea is an experience unlike living there. Groups of tourists are let in only under a strictly scheduled itinerary, with tour guides that double as handlers. You are not allowed out of their sight, and they reserve the right to prevent you from taking photos they deem inappropriate. Spectacles are set up for the tourists, which they are encouraged to photograph.


The Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by Sam Gellman.

Travel photographer Sam Gellman was required to go to the Mass Games while visiting Pyongyang, not only to showcase their excellent skill sets, but also to promote the idea of the group over the individual. His photos are spectacular, but the guides were less happy with him taking pictures of everyday life. “The guides really wanted us to have a good time, but it got weird if we had our cameras out for too long,” Gellman said in an interview with Wired. Check out some of his photos, and go to his Flickr account if you like what you see!


The billboards are made up of “pixels” held by thousands of children who switch them in unison. Photo by Sam Gellman.


Daily life in Pyongyang, North Korea’s wealthiest city. Photo by Sam Gellman.


Children playing in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by Sam Gellman.


A Soldier having fun during a street fair in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by Sam Gellman.


A billboard of Kim Il-Sun overlooking city streets in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo by Sam Gellman.


A young boy and his father at the park. Photo by Sam Gellman.

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