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tv   Man from the North  BBC News  January 28, 2017 1:30pm-2:01pm GMT

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to itsn hulluuf illn m” wits: 'u ‘ur lur— il16 661.6.” 6'uilfi.‘ "u 6‘u6 lur— hf: forward to maintaining these talks with your prime minister later today. thank you. thank you. there we go, there no questions to be taken at this press conference, believe. no questions, just a short statement from each of them. president erdogan saying he is hoping to increase the volume of trade with the uk from $15.6 billion to $20 billion. they're aiming to increase their joint steps to $20 billion. they're aiming to increase theirjoint steps in defence, also in further areas of corporations such as energy generation. theresa may will be also meeting feats prime minister and representatives from the defence industry to talk about those issues ina industry to talk about those issues in a little more detail. theresa may herself saying they are setting up a joint group, a working group, to prepare the ground for a post brexit relations. our correspondents on the
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trip saying it's very important to maintain human rights and the rule of law. the photographers all going in to get the pictures that will hit the papers tomorrow, of course. this is bbc news. the headlines are just gone 1:30pm: tributes are being paid to sirjohn hurt, one of britain's one of britain's most respected and versatile actors, who has died aged 77. president trump's been criticised for closing america's borders to syrian refugees — and suspending visas for citizens of six other, mainly muslim, countries. google has urged staff travelling overseas to return to the us as soon as possible, in case they are barred entry. theresa may has been holding talks with president erdogan in turkey, where it's thought they've been discussing a post—brexit trade deal. now a bbc news special programme.
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the bbc‘s korea correspondent stephen evans speaks to north korean defector thae yong—ho. i'm steve evans and this is seoul, one of the most prosperous and bustling cities in asia. it's only 100 miles from pyongyang, but in terms of atmosphere and attitude, it's a million miles away. this is now the home of thae yong—ho, the north korean diplomat who defected from london. he lives here in secret, accompanied by body guards, often in disguise. north korea called him "human scum", and that's because he was so central to north korea's diplomatic effort. i'll be talking to him in a moment. he lived in london with his family
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and the families of two other north korean diplomats in the embassy. 0utwardly a bourgeois suburban house. thae yong—ho escorted kim jong—un's brother to a rock concert in the royal albert hall. he was the voice of north korea to british left—wing groups, singing the praises of socialism. hello. and now, in south korea, where i met him. he won't say how he got here, if the secret services of the united states or britain, or south korea, helped. so how are you getting on in seoul? are you enjoying it? but he did talk about how his family turned him against the regime in pyongyang. me and my family, and my sons and my wife, did not come to that kind of conclusion just on one day.
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at the first stage, there is a kind of ideological debate inside the family, especially between me and my sons, when my sons entered uk university, the education they received was quite different to what they got in north korea. it was something totally different. so, they at first started to ask me questions, why, when they learned history in high school, then my son say after school he came to me and asked which is right, about the second world war, the first world war. so there was quite a different explanation about the same thing in the uk and north korea.
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so first these questions started to come up to me, and these questions pushed me into a very difficult situation, because as a father i have to tell the truth and if i tell the truth then my explanation would be quite different to what the north korean regime, you know, so far brainwashed. but as a father i can't tell them lies, so i started to tell them the truth. meanwhile, the environment of my sons was a little bit difficult for my sons to cope with. for instance, when my son had long hair, then his friends may ask questions like, aren't you afraid
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of being arrested by kim jong—un because you have long hair? in north korea, if anyone has long hair, that is the subject of arrest, of these kinds of questions. they always make my sons very difficult when they mingle with british friends. and his friends ask them — ask my son questions like why there is no internet, why north korean people are forbidden to access internet. my sons asked me, why doesn't the north korean regime allow the internet? these very simple questions. and i have to tell them the long story why — you know, why politically. so these kinds of questions and debates are started
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inside my family, and at that time i thought that my sons deserved the truth. but the truth is very dangerous, isn't it? because if you were then putting the party line out in public, but the truth to your sons... there was a danger that your sons were going to say, "my dad doesn't believe all that stuff", and then your life was in danger. that's right, and i always had to remind my sons that they should keep what i told them in their minds. they should not tell anyone. as a diplomat, i have to pretend to be loyal to the regime. so all these things put me in a very difficult condition inside the family and, meanwhile,
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i learnt that since my sons knew the truth it would be very difficult for them in their future to survive in north korea. was it gradual? it was a very long process. because a year ago, even, you were going to public meetings with the communist party of great britain and singing the praises of kim jong—un and socialism. so did you believe it when you said that? no, because actually, to be honest, my doubt on the north korean regime and north korean society and ideology started even in the late 1990s. making this decision was that i was lucky to bring both of my sons to london, because all diplomats of north korea should leave one
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of his children back in pyongyang. kim jong—un abused this pure love between parents and children as a kind of tool to control the diplomats. but i was lucky. you still have close family in north korea. will you ever see them again, will you ever talk to them again? do you have any indication about how what feel? so far now i am the target of denunciation by the north korean regime. i am sure that my relatives, and my brother and sister's families, by now are all sent
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to either removed, closed areas or prison camps. so that really breaks my heart. if you could imagine your brother shouting at you, "why did you do this to me?" "why have you put me in this place?" what would you say? oh, that is really, you know... ...a question which, you know, i do not like to even think about. yes. but that's why i am very much now determined to do everything possible to pull down the north korean regime, in order to save not only my family members, but the whole north korean people from slavery.
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do you think you will ever see your brother again? i am absolutely sure and this is my dream, to walk back to my hometown. lots of people outside say there is a prison camp system in north korea, a gulag system. the regime in pyongyang emphatically denies that. what's the truth of it, as you see it? all north korean people know that there is a prison camps. it is a common knowledge inside north korea. and it is a kind of... part of everyday life in north korea, that if you commit any crimes, which is the threat to the system, then you will be sent to these prison camps. thousands of families in pyongyang were all sent to the prison camps. not one or two, thousands
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of families were sent to prison camps. there is a new president in washington with a very different tone and maybe policy. and your former country is much closer to having nuclear weapons. what do you think should be done? the trump administration should not acknowledge the status of north korea as a nuclear power, because what the kim jong—un regime wants to achieve is bring a kind of compromise between north korea and america. so, the american administration should not fall in this trap.
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don't do deals? don't do deals, and they should continue to push the sanctions and the world community should continue its concerted effort to sanction north korea, so that north korea should give up the nuclear weapons programme itself. if, when, kim jong—un gets the bomb properly, and missiles to deliver, is he capable of pressing that button and destroying los angeles? kim jong—un knows quite well that nuclear weapons are the only guarantee for his rule. and kimjong—un, i think, will press the button of these dangerous weapons when he thinks his rule and his dynasty is threatened to be collapsed, yes.
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he would destroy los angeles, even though the retaliation would kill him? yes, because he knew that if... ..he lose the power, then it is his last day. so he may do anything, you know... ..even to attack los angeles, because once the people know that in any way you will be killed, then you can do anything. that is the human
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beings‘ normal reaction. how do you assess kim jong—un? he is sometimes painted outside as a buffoon, as not very bright, and sometimes as well as being very devious. how do you assess him? you know, north korean society can only be held in place by idolising or deificating the leader as the god. so we have to remove the image and the process of... we have to stop the process of idealisation of kim jong—un inside north korean society. he rules by fear, clearly. but also i watched three
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girls in pyongyang, they didn't know they were being watched by me, go up to a statue of his father and grandfather and they came away with moist eyes. so there's more than fear going on, isn't there? explain this complexity. the children, from the age of three, are brainwashed to bow in front of the portrait or statue of the kim family. and then, when they have lunch or dinner in kindergarten, they were taught to thank them for the meal. so north korean people are growing up in this kind of, you know, idolising process. so i think the tears which you have seen during your stay in pyonyang may be, might be, the true feeling. but the majority of the ruling
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class in north korea, high officials or elites, they now learnt that this kind of a hereditary system has nothing to do with the true communism. the kim family only built north korea for the kim family's prosperity alone. and now the people, most of the people, and especially the elite group, learned that the current system is nothing, but only serves the kim family alone. that is the point. so i am sure that one day those elite groups will turn their back on kimjong—un, and they will also rise up, together
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with the popular uprising, yes. in this country, in south korea, there is sometimes talk of decapitation, in effect assassinating kim jong—un, if that were possible. what do you think of that? i think that is unlikely, because, you know, even north korean people do not know the whereabouts of kim jong—un. myself, i've never seen his car, even, in pyonyang city. even the high officials in north korea do not know where is his office, where is his house, no. he is a kind of leader in the air. whenever he visits some places, or whenever he holds some meetings, it is already, you know, preset, the process. and even myself, and even the high officials, don't know where he is.
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let me talk about how north korean diplomats work. what were the kinds of things that you would do to raise money, orjust to please the regime? i'm thinking you escorted kim jong—un's brother to an eric clapton concert. tell me about that, what happened? kim jong—un's brother, kim jong—chol, he is a really good musician, at my impression. he plays guitar very well, and he actually... actually he has met eric clapton, you know. he watched eric clapton's performance twice in london. and whenever he was at that, you know, in the albert hall to watch eric clapton, i can see the tears, even, in his eyes. and he is only interested
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in music, nothing else. i took him a good many places, like parliament square, you know, trafalgar square, and all the nice, you know, top ten sites and places. but he never asked even a single question, you know, about these other places, or even the history, about britain. he is not interested at all. so i kept on telling him this and that, you know, and i soon learnt that he is not interested in those, you know, sightseeing, or history, or important people. he is only interested in music. eric clapton. did you do anything that you are ashamed of, and did you do anything criminal?
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did you break the law, british law, as a diplomat of the dprk? no, i didn't break any law. not one to do with making money for the regime, or raising money for the regime? because there are all kinds of stories that dprk diplomats have to engage in crime to raise money for pyonyang. yes, but not all countries, you know, allow that kind of thing. for instance, the north korean diplomats in europe, you know, especially like britain and france, where there is a really high level of securities, you know, and also with the intelligence services, it is really dangerous, for not only north korean diplomats, but even the other foreign
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diplomats, as well, to do these kind of illicit activities. in terms of law, we didn't pay, for instance, the condition charges, you know, the parking fees, north korean members in london. so far, i think the outstanding parking accommodation and parking fines are around, to my memory, around £100,000. what do you miss about britain? your life in britain seemed to me to be very english, in lots of ways. you played tennis in a rather nice suburban tennis club. what do you miss about your life there? i really miss that kind of, you know, life. you know, especially in ealing.
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and even now, i am really sorry for not saying goodbye to my tennis club, you know, the members, because they are really nice, and, you know, gentle. and so, if possible, i want to say, you know, the official goodbye to my old tennis club members. we have been the member of this club for eight years. my youngest son even joined this club when he was at the age of eight, you know. and we had a really, really wonderful coach david, you know? he was an old man, and he thought all members of my family had to play tennis.
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me, my kids, my wife, you know, so the whole tennis club members were just one family members. and we had — really still miss english, the spring, the autumn, where you have this wonderful tennis. so, now i really want to say goodbye and thank you to all my club members. finally, how do you think kim jong—un will end his days? is he going to die peacefully in his own bed? no. or how? i'm sure that kimjong—un regime will one day collapse, by people's uprising. thank you very much. thank you. hello. i didn't really know what to
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put up to get you through the rest of the day, given there is such a variety of weather on offer. at its best it looks a bit like that, in fa ct best it looks a bit like that, in fact some areas have less cloud. in the south—west steven ferreira some sharp showers, our weather watchers capturing all of those. those of a nervous disposition in scotland, look away now, you're going to have this sort of weather for much of the day. this whole mass is tending to move a little bit further north and east with time. no great problems in northern ireland, wales and into the south—western quarter, because there isa south—western quarter, because there is a mixture of sunny spells and showers. a chance of seeing some sunshine. if you are trapped underneath that great lead shield of cloud there is the possibility of showers peppering the western side of scotland. 0ut towards the east, a
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mixture of rain, merck and wet snow. that comes towards the northern part of scotla nd that comes towards the northern part of scotland as well. 0nce that comes towards the northern part of scotland as well. once we are further south and east and west of that you get the sense we are in that you get the sense we are in that mix of sun and showers. a bit of hail as well. as a shield of cloud gradually drift away, we are eventually going to see clearing skies. when temperatures fall away, asos will be a problem because many of the services will be whetted through the day. under clear skies, temperatures 1—3d. across the south—western quarter, milder conditions, relatively, it's no heat wave! there's a frontal system coming from the atlantic, the shield of cloud eventually rolls over what will have been quite bright start and northern ireland, the midlands and northern ireland, the midlands and northern ireland, the midlands and north wales. that traps in the cold. a cold and miserable afternoon in that zone. further north, sunny,
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chilly but get out and get on with it weather. in the south—western quarter, double digit temperatures, but will you want to stand in it? probably not. the first half of next week, coming infrom probably not. the first half of next week, coming in from the atlantic. nothing settled about this. in the middle part of the week, as this big old boy luke sinnott from the atlantic, lots of isobars. quite windy, spells of rain as those weather fronts come through, but at least with that flow from the atlantic, much milder than the last few days. that is the way it is. lots going on. if you want it, it's right there at the bbc weather website. this is bbc news. the headlines. the prime minister talks post—brexit trade deals on a state visit to turkey. we both want to build on our existing links and i believe that doing so will be to the benefit of
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both our countries and for the prosperity of both our nations. france, germany and human rights groups have expressed concern at president trump's decision to impose a temporary ban on all refugees entering the united states. things fall apart. the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy. tributes to sirjohn hurt who has died at the age of 77. we will talk to the producer of his last film which is yet to be released in the next half hour.
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