Could South Korean dramas bring down the North Korean regime?
Can the smuggling of Kdramas and Hollywood movies into North Korea from South Korea help overthrow Kim Jong-Un's government? UK Channel 4 recently broadcast a documentary called North Korea: Live inside the Secret State on November 14, which included a scene that showed North Korean citizens watching a South Korean drama in secret, as well as interviews with K-drama smugglers.
Mr. Chung, a former inmate of a political prison camp who escaped to the West, now smuggles USB sticks and DVDs of South Korean dramas, entertainment shows, and Hollywood films into the North. He poses as a mushroom farmer to get across the border, where guards operate a shoot-to-kill policy. Mr. Chung said that his biggest hit so far has been the Bond movie Skyfall. When asked if he ever worries about getting caught, he simply answered "Of course there's a risk, but I want to send them in, so I just do, don't I?"
In the documentary, there were people who complained about Kim Jong Un’s regime, including a teenage boy touting to sell DVDs and two women watching the K-variety show Grandpa Over Flowers by using a DVD player in a dark room. The house was ordinary, and there were Kim Il Sung's and Kim Jong Il’s pictures hanging on the wall. The screen showed an episode where four Korean veteran actors travel in France, which was broadcast about 3 months ago in South Korea. The women closed the player because of a sudden presence from outside.
This documentary was filmed by dispatches and Jiro Ishimaru with help from North Korean defectors and citizens in North Korea. They make the claim that the more people are exposed to such media, the more likely they are to become disillusioned with the regime and start wanting to live differently.