Skip to comments.North Korean propaganda film backfires with hungry audiences
Posted on 07/07/2005 10:47:24 AM PDT by LibWhacker
SEOUL A North Korean propaganda film about the repatriation of a spy Lee In-Mo who had languished for years in a South Korean prison may have a short shelf life, according to defectors now living in the South.
"What we could not believe in the movie was that Lee and others were conducting hunger strikes in the prison," said one defector about the movie.
"Refusing to eat was a form of resistance in the South? Boy, South Korea must be a paradise. That's what we said among ourselves"
One of the first things South Korean President Kim Young-Sam did upon his inauguration in 1993 as the first popularly elected civilian president was to repatriate a long-term prisoner, Lee In-Mo, back to North Korea.
Lee, 76, was a North Korean spy dispatched during the early days of Korean War (1950-53) and became a partisan when he missed the chance to go back before the cease-fire agreement was signed. He was captured at the age of 33 and spent 42 years in South Korean prisons. When the government in Seoul released spies and partisans in exchange for letters rejecting communist ideology and pledges to become loyal South Korean citizens, Lee and 62 other communists refused and opted to remain in prison.
Lee was released for ill health and old age.
North Korea demanded his repatriation, but Seoul hesitated knowing that he would be used for propaganda against the South. After all, his was a case made to order for propaganda: faith in the socialist system, dedication for a cause (national unification), and four decades in prison and unflinching loyalty.
After much debate on the pros and cons of repatriating Lee, the Kim Young-Sam government decided to send him back in a humanitarian spirit (62 others were later sent back by President Kim Dae-Jung) and to attempt a breakthrough in the deadlocked South-North relations.
Lee received a hero's welcome and, sure enough, Pyongyang made a film on Lee's "heroic struggle for the motherland" in South Korean prisons and made sure all North Koreans saw it.
However, the movie caused many North Koreans to become curious about South Korean society.
Many North Korean defectors said their first reaction upon seeing the film was to ask how people could stay in prison for more than 10 years and remain alive? They say few people survive even three years in North Korean political prisons. Being fed three regular meals a day is utterly unimaginable.
Political prisoners die from disease and malnutrition, if not from torture, as documented by Kang Chul-Won in his best-selling book, "Aquariums of Pyongyang," which recently led him to be invited by President Bush to the White House.
The North Korean defectors said the movie had the opposite effect from what was intended. One wondered if Pyongyang is still showing the movie to the people.
"I bet they are not," he said.
What did the audience do? Eat the film?
Everyone knows that a propaganda film is highly filling and calorific. That's why in NK they show so many of them. A healthy NK diet includes three square propaganda films a day. Those who watch more than three tend to become really thick.
Howizzit that the only fat North Korean is Kim-Jong-Il?.....
"Being fed three regular meals a day is utterly unimaginable."
Where's Amnesty International when they're truly needed? Oh, that's right; they're too busy wringing their hands over Abu Ghraib.
LOL...he's not fat, just big boned!
God help the North Korean people.
Comrades! he cried. You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades, cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?
-- Animal Farm.
I sometimes hang awake at nights dreaming of being spat in the face. /Python
Yeah, his belly-bone must be huge!.......
He obviously doesn't hold with hunger strikes.
Surely the same thoughts must cross the minds of North Koreans when they see him on whatever media they have. His portrait is probably plastered all over the country.........
He eats to much because he's ronery.
This is just too funny.....
Yes it is--and I needed a chuckle today. Thanks for the ping!
The same maybe true of all Muslims who hear the full story about the treatment at Club Gitmo.