Wednesday 11 May 2011

It's grim up norf

Never has this saying been more apt than when talking about Korea. I have a bit of a morbid fascination with North Korea. I've read a few books about it, and been to exhibitions and museums about the war and I've seen North Korea from both sides, from one of the most heavily guarded places on earth (South Korea) and across a metre wide river in China. I've posted before about a couple of good books but I've just finished watching an immensely sad and somewhat shocking documentary about it. I say 'somewhat' because for me what this documentary tells us isn't new. I know that people there don't have enough to eat, I know that some have resorted to cannibalism and I know that the food aid that is and has been sent there isn't not distributed to those who need it, rather it is given to the military or sold on the black market to the elite few who actually have money. What was new for me however, were the images of this. A very brave North Korea defector's secret filming of orphan children picking up crumbs off the street. He risks his life every time he returns across that same river that I took a tourist boat trip on, he could be thrown into a prison camp or more probably executed if he were found with his secret camera. But he still does it, "to show the world what is happening". This is so incredibly brave and virtuous that it makes me feel ashamed that I don't do anything. I fear however, that the world doesn't care enough about North Korea to actively help it's people, and it will be a long time, and there will be a huge number more deaths before the land is liberated. Anyway to check out the documentary, go here

A good (and sad) film about North Korea is also 'Crossing' or '크로싱' in Korean (2008) info. Which I watched on megavideo.

Me and North Korea, January 2009.

I should imagine this ferris wheel hasn't turned for a good 20/30 years.

Comrades working.

One step across 
'Officially' across the North/South Korean border.

Looking north from the safety of the south.

Ugly communist style buildings. Reminiscent of the leftover Nazi buildings in Berlin.

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