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N. Korean defectors to tell ordeal at 1st film festival in Hong Kong

All Headlines 10:20 August 05, 2013

BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- Two North Korean defectors will share their personal experiences and hardship at the first film festival in Hong Kong about widespread human rights violations in North Korea, a media report said Monday.

Some 150 people are scheduled to attend Hong Kong's North Korea Human Rights Film Festival, slated for next week, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

One of the two North Korean defectors to make an appearance at the event is Lee Aram, who used to work in the North Korean police, according to the report. After the 25-year-old defected in 2008, her father was sent to a prison camp and died there, it said.

The festival will showcase three feature films and two documentaries on refugees from the communist country, including "Crossing," a 2009 film based on a true story that portrays the struggles faced by a North Korean who sneaks into China to buy medicine for his sick wife.

"Hong Kongers are interested in North Korea, but they know little about the country's human rights issues," the paper quoted Owen Lau Kwun-hang, the event's organizer, as saying.

"What we are trying to do is to link up the two by organizing soft events like film fests," Lau said.

More than 25,000 people from North Korea have come to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Many of them travel through China, Thailand, Laos and other Southeast Asian countries before resettling in the South.

In the past, North Korean characters have frequently been featured in South Korean films, but often as spies or enemies.

However, a growing number of North Koreans living in the South has prompted filmmakers here to show a different side of them by revealing the hardship and challenges North Korean defectors face in trying adapt in the capitalist South.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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