Sunday, February 19, 2006

‘Typhoon’ Tells Story of North Korean Defector

A North Korean refugee boy, rejected by South Korea for asylum, narrowly escapes North Korean guards, who kill his parents. He grows up to become a pirate on a vengeful mission: drenching the Korean peninsula in a nuclear rainstorm.

The South Korean action film "Typhoon" strikes many viewers as implausible, but North Koreans who risked their lives escaping the communist regime know better.

"I think it's the first movie that accurately depicts the reality of North Korea," said Kang Chol Hwan, who met President Bush last year to discuss his memoir of growing up in a prison camp. "This is the true story of us. I cried throughout the movie."

"Typhoon" tells the story of Choi Myung Sin and his family, who flee to China and seek refuge in South Korea after breaking into the Austrian embassy in Beijing. Fearing a diplomatic conflict with China, South Korea rejects their asylum bid and secretly repatriates them to the North. During yet another escape attempt, Choi's parents are shot dead by North Korean guards. Choi and his older sister manage to run away, but their life in hiding means scavenging for food and the sister gets raped by a Chinese farmer while trying to steal a few dumplings for Choi.

The reality for North Koreans trying to flee the totalitarian regime is "far more tragic and tearful," said Kang, who was sent to a North Korean prison along with his family at age 9 because his grandfather was accused of anti-government activity.

[From Associated Press article by Bo-Mi Lim]

No comments: