Published: 10th Jan 2012
Geeks love a fab documentary. Some people will think that I’m rather sad when I say that you have to be doing something bloody extraordinary to find a greater buzz than when you finally source a good old doc’ after a hefty chunk of hours on the browse. Here was one that I really sunk my teeth into. A BBC documentary, Escaping North Korea, that I stumbled upon one recent very ordinary and lonesome Sunday afternoon. The kettle was busier than normal.
The gut-wrenching tales that were told throughout this programme inspired me to serialise it through my blog and share with others the difficulties North Korean people can face, having risked their own lives, when escaping north of the border and into China.
North Korea is the last of the world’s closed communist states. Over the years, natives suffering this evil regime have suffered famine and brutality. It is believed that millions have died, but no source can come up with an exact figure. Many more civilians would have starved to death if it were not for foreign aid, which to this day is still being filtered through. A fact with which their own government are not proud of and try to dismiss vehemently.
With North and South Korea still technically at war, it is an impossibility for members of the North to escape directly south of the border, meaning the thousands who attempt to escape have to risk their lives by crossing a heavily patrolled river on the Chinese/North Korean border. The majority of escapees are women and children.
Should they be fortunate enough to muster their way out of North Korea and into China, North Koreans will then have many difficulties to overcome. In China they have no refugee status and with no national identity they are not able to find themselves legitimate jobs. As a result most women end up earning a living in the thriving sex industry.