tv Fault Lines Al Jazeera February 12, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm EST
the husband apparently has just arrived to south korea. neither of them have spoken to the media before. kim jong un has tightened border security. and less north koreans have managed to defect in recent years. we've been asked not to reveal their identities or where they live because even though they have left the country, they are still afraid. we are changing their names and distorting their voices at their request. kim min-su ("kim min soo") and ahn su-bin (on soo bin") escaped separately across the river to china. >> did you ever feel in danger?
only allowed us to speak to people that were approved by them. of the people you know, what is the general feeling among the population? >> in 2013, the united nations released a groundbreaking report on human rights abuses in north korea, concluding their abuses - including forced labor, deliberate starvation, torture, and the complete denial of the right to freedom of thought quote "have no parallel in the contemporary world"
when he was only 9 years old, kang chol kwan said he was imprisoned at the yoduk political prison camp with his family. when he was released 10 years later, he escaped to the south >> so there are entire families kept in these places? >> 80 to 120,000 people are reported to be held in these camps on life sentences. the north korean government denies that political prisons exist.
>> we wanted to raise the issue of human rights while on our visit to north korea >> you're all welcome to korea, to see the reality of korea. which will be different for you from what you've heard. by the way, have you found people that have horns, and red face? >> (laughs) no, we haven't. we were given one chance to sit down and ask questions with party members. our guides insisted it wasn't an interview, just a conversation >> in the western world, especially in the united states, there is a lot of criticism of this country about what happens to those who oppose the government, so we wanted to know his opinion about what other countries say about human rights here in this country.
>> in december, the un general assembly voted to refer north korea to the international criminal court for alleged crimes against humanity. the question is now on the permanent agenda of the security council. kim il sung square was filled with thousands of people in a government rally against the united states and the united nations.
>> andrei lankov is a historian who has studied north korea for decades. >> north korea is a notorious human rights abuser. arguably, the world's worst human rights abuser. having said that, these resolutions have no impact whatsoever. because they understand: it's official now: if they lose, they are not going to be spared. so they are going to fight, and they are going to be even more repressive, not less. >> in seoul, kim ji-woo ("kim jee oo") - not her real name - told us she had been arrested and tortured by the north korean security police
country. ambassador joseph detrani is a former u.s. negotiator with north korea on their nuclear program. the six party talks reached a dead end in 2009. >> if they are not happy with something, they will tell you; well we're not happy with something. and if you persist, we'll have a nuclear test, we'll have a missile launch. and i think the expectation has been: we will cave. threats don't work any longer. the threat to escalate doesn't work any longer they are not going to get what they want because they are threatening. they will get more by coming back to the table and being reasonable. >> the united states has announced a new round of sanctions as a response to the cyber attack on sony pictures they claim was orchestrated by north korea > outside policy is pro-engagement or pressure. pressure does not work. engagement might have some impact, but only very limited.
on balance, we have this kind of oscillation between unrealistic hopes about pressure and unrealistic hopes about engagement. >> we have had 20 years of experience negotiating with north korea. and what do we have? a north korea with more nuclear weapons, a north korea with more missile delivery systems, a north korea that continues to proliferate, so these negotiations haven't been successful. lets be brutally blunt about that. but that does' mean we stop. >> while the international community navigates policy options - changes within north korea might have the most far-reaching implications >> there is so much curiosity in south korea about what is happening in the north that as you can see hundreds of people come here every day to take a peek at the other side.
>> our main glimpse of life in the provinces... we were shown in a cafe in seoul >> fault lines was shown exclusive footage from a north korean smuggler. he asked us not to reveal his identity. >> in this clip, a group of people are waiting outside a train station in suncheon city, north of pyongyang. we were told they were waiting for merchants to arrive with chinese goods that need to be brought to market... things like shampoos, electronics and smuggled dvds. >> we are told if caught filming the markets...
you could go to prison, or worse. >> the government can minimize changes in the economy, but can't hide them completely we were taken to the migok cooperative farm in sariwon city. it's a model farm in one of the most fertile areas of the country. >> kim jong un, said that agriculture is a priority, he wanted to do some reforms, have these reforms, are they already in place? >> not reform >> not reform, what do you say? >> new measures >> new measures. >> it's not new, but it has been already initiated by kim il sung.
>> chronic malnutrition is still a real problem in north korea. but food production has increased somewhat in recent years, in part because of a new emphasis on family based agriculture and incentives for farmers. >> obviously the policy of kim jong un is to emulate chinese ecomnomic reforms of the 70s and 80s. slowly and very carefully. but at the same time to remain very harsh, very repressive, with anyone who has any doubts about the system, or is going to challenge the system in any meaningful way. over the last year they had a massive campaign against people who watch illegally imported smuggled foreign movies.
well, they became very harsh. and now people are afraid to watch such movies. >> in korea we have a saying, seeing is believing. same as in english. so first, see with your own eyes. and if there is anything you want to know, you are very curious, then you can ask us. >> during our time in north korea, we were constantly told that we should see with our own eyes how different the country is from outside perceptions. but what's unseen and unspoken is all the ways in which the regime maintains its control. for those who have have fled, it's system that, despite decades of diplomatic pressure and us and international sanctions, appears as entrenched as ever.
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