"If We Were Caught, Everybody Would Be Dead"


The Los Angeles Times reports on a moving image of dissidence in North Korea:

With shaking hands, the North Korean climbed onto the shoulders of a buddy to reach the underside of the bridge. As another accomplice stood guard, he hung up a banner denouncing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in bright red paint.

Then he took out a video camera, disguised to look like a carton of cigarettes, and filmed his handiwork for posterity….

"If we were caught, everybody would be dead," said the man, who goes by the name Park Dae Heung.

The 33-minute tape has created a sensation in Japan and South Korea, where it has aired repeatedly. South Korean human rights advocates say it is the first evidence of a nascent dissident movement inside North Korea.

There is controversy over what motivated the filmmakers–pure hatred for the regime or the knowledge that Japanese television stations would pay thousands for such footage. But why should it matter? It's solid proof of dissent in a nation of people supposedly brainwashed into slavish reverence for a dumpy, bespectacled tyrant whose entire wardrobe consists of khaki windbreakers:

"The camera is our weapon," Park said. "We wanted to break the myth that North Korea is an impenetrable fortress…"

Film here.
LA Times piece here.