tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle April 1, 2019 11:15am-12:01pm CEST
the forty one year old has never held political office incumbent president a proportion hugo is currently second place is between sixteen and seventeen. this is due to enters live from the left i'm brian thomas for the entire team thanks for joining us our documentary film is off next song north korea. her first day at school in the jungle. her first climbing less of a minute doors grandma with her arrives. to join your ranting on her journey back to freedom. in our interactive documentary tour of an orangutan returns home on d w dot com tanks.
this is a country where the war never end. every morning at exactly six am loudspeakers across north korea sound a morning wake up call featuring the same melody every day. a melody familiar from a revolutionary opera. it tells the story of a young nurse at the front who has dedicated her life to the party and is searching for the beloved general who summons her to show him the way. this is a country at war against the border that divides it. all
. to. come up isn't it true that i was always at the top of my class the teachers all rated me highly. even at school there was a hierarchy among the pupils at the top you're always at the class representatives and the political representatives. and i always held both positions around but there is a coffee they put together that well. if that's how i learned to give orders and how to lead people.
at the border between the two koreas divided by a cold war time stand still with no peace agreement ever signed the war has been suspended since hostilities ceased in one nine hundred fifty three in the course of the next six decades the north secretly developed a weapon that the world's major powers believed only they had the secret to the nuclear bomb. how is a country considered one of the poorest on the planet and which is also shunned by most other nations able to afford such weaponry. only those who were part of the system are privy to the secret. it took me years to track them down those who we were able to ask had a tragic tale to tell of men and women who were tasked with earning money for their country whatever the price the money of the dictators men.
seoul just fifty kilometers away from the border to north korea in the space of just twenty years the south korean capital became the fourth richest city on the planet after tokyo new york and los angeles. this is where the ordeal ends for many of the refugees from north korea. this young high ranking official from the north traveled thousands of kilometers on a trek across china all the way to seoul he's been living here with a new identity for two years today he calls himself michael kim he's twenty eight years old and works part time as a museum attendant. in a wood. this is an exhibition organized by the sole authorities there it shows a model apartment in north korea. to illustrate what life looks like for the residents of pyongyang there with the team is of highway and as it is it was having
actually lived there myself i've been asked to explain in further detail. both on a. ride on the way i began my career in the state security agency the cia of north korea. i worked in the financial department where i came to attention due to my expertise i was transferred to office thirty nine it's doable. and that was unusual . is that you know i want to listen. i was only twenty five when i joined i was the youngest member of staff there said it was an issue cause it was a bold and kills it for women office thirty nine manages and directs all the economic activities of thousands of firms and factories are. highly paid so we hire him and the office was set up to earn money for the regime outside the
country. so i thought i don't over there and click on a little cause i'm half of north korea's gross domestic product comes from office thirty nine sort of on the. those courses and always will. michael fled from one day to the next without warning his family he knew too much to be able to keep on believing in the regime he decided to meet us three weeks ago he insisted on showing his face while being interviewed in the hope of becoming too well known to be secretly assassinated. reports from men who have been involved in office thirty nine the guardians of north korea's many financial secrets are extremely rare there have been precious few defectors fleeing the country means putting yourself in danger as well as family members left behind. limb ill on the other hand was right at the bottom of the hierarchy upon who was
sent halfway around the world to work on a construction site in the desert of kuwait or would try to end up with oh there was agreement for me it wasn't about whether i wanted to do it time was running out i wanted to leave quickly so that we could get something to eat as our leader kim il sung died in july nine hundred ninety four and starting a year later and may nine hundred ninety five the state was no longer able to provide the normal food ration people started to panic. this was the first time they had reduced the russians feel good i had a two year old daughter over there in order to leave you had to be married and have children if you don't have any children they won't let you out i thought a family of four or five can live for at least six months on my salary of over one hundred twenty dollars a month if i sent it in pyongyang with it with a new crew. and after two months we asked why we weren't getting paid hundreds when
they said they had not been instructed by the party to pay our salary for the party in north korea was kim jong il our commander in chief. that answer silenced us leave the wonders of workers had to keep their mouths shut. we kept on working at night to using our flashlights. to fight off sleep and just carry on. i kept working like that for five months and all that time i didn't get paid. i felt cheated and. sending workers abroad was an idea first introduced in one nine hundred seventy four a gigantic network of clandestine companies and financial constructs gradually evolved all of them with one sole goal earning money for office thirty nine. this man was likewise born in the north in pyongyang in early two thousand he was sent to
singapore he earned tens of millions of dollars for north korea as a representative of pyongyang's north east asia bank in two thousand and three he was suspected of having passed on information about the regime's finances he fled to south korea today the former banker works for his new country's intelligence agencies he supports them in their struggle against the regime he wants war eternal allegiance to our main goal is to make for in cash and this foreign cash business is secret. complete the secret office number for ny and continued creating that the system is setup like it's all north korean institutions where these foreign cash is generated there is to report it to can to the top and then should bring that should pay that in cash
to family and now turns on and before thousands of years so you get there all this and then spend it or according to his priorities so two economies one is two family economy and the other one is the national economy run by the cabinet and run by their so called inner central planning so to family i called it you know royal court economy royal court economy the princess all the best profitable businesses is top turns this department stores you know those services in the rest trunks they are making money for in cash and then it also goes to continue now into. soul separate economy . the money that you make we never
a good central economy not. center bang. finance ministry and trade bank they can never. what pope their nose into our business is that they can never they can not ask a tipping can gather or and then read a look at them so let's say a billion years dollars a year to get that cash in cash and then to use that now nuclear missile program if you know consumes a lot of money it's from james holmes' pocket they're all different workers you know at most hundred and fifty thousand maybe fifty thousand in russia and a little more in china and others in scattered around or so crew than fifty thought it and they make a lot of money there's only. so seventy percentage of eighty percentage of the
salary cuts and sent to the state and the party so if they make all of them a hundred dollars then the amount is how much civil man knowing it. put in your own. pair were smuggled fifteen million fifteen million a month they don't make only one hundred years bucks a five or month when they make more maybe several hundred at least so a lot of money is going to control. the volume of their cash income consume one's funds increased dramatically in the past in the past twenty years in the past twenty years so you can buy more and he
can. to continue this in a nuclear and missile program for the crew of the younger that his mother thought was the night of the day you know god especially in places where we have a special agreement in places like eastern europe southeast asia africa. the rio workers everywhere. in poland the ukraine the pakistan mongolia the big distant. one. while traditional your dwellings dot the modern city scape the noise from the pneumatic hammers is omnipresent every day the concrete expenses continue to spread a little more in the mongolian capital. for a period of over seventy years the country had a communist regime the city's grand monuments honoring the eastern bloc are a legacy of that era but after the collapse of the soviet union mongolia switched
to the western capitalist camp people left rural regions in droves for the city's tar is an urgent need of new housing but lacks sufficient manpower to build it the government has therefore been hiring workers from china vietnam and north korea for reinforcement the work is a sign the same way in each construction site. the mongolian workers are used for exteriors jobs rather better qualified north koreans for example take care of the interior. the workers from pyongyang are under observation day and night we want to approach them discreetly and first just send our interpreter. hello hello to them all the north koreans working today sure. do they sleep here yes. and they never go out just to go shopping that's all. and they eat and sleep here yes inside.
north korea goes to extreme lengths to prevent its workers from coming into contact with the outside world and discovering a reality that is other than the one depicted in the daily propaganda they're only allowed to go out in groups so that they can keep an eye on each other but in the narrow market aisles of all on battah we spot a north korean worker who appears to be on his own. and if you can we talk while we look at the shoes. yes that's. when did you come here to mongolia. three years ago. that's a long time yes and when are you going back home soon in a month. and have you and much money no i've not earned a lot of mongolian money and why not and you paid i didn't get much not much you
know i've been working but i never got any money and they must be bad people has a lot of bad people around really. so do you have family north korea how many childrens are there. i have one child. my wife was pregnant when i left i have never seen my child. so three years old three years boy or girl i got a letter saying i was a boy i'm desperate to go and see my son. the workers usually have three year contracts and are not allowed to go home during that time only very few use their stay abroad to defect due to their family still living in north korea they are all too aware that they would never see them again. is mongolia covering up the presence of these workers within its borders neither the government nor the companies employing them were prepared to talk to us but
allegedly there are twelve hundred north koreans in the country they are there legally at the invitation of the mongolian government. the companies transfer the salaries directly to the north korean embassy and. from where the money is then confiscated by the regime in pyongyang a fraction of the somme a few dozen euro's a month at most is paid to the workers who use it to support their families in north korea. the construction workers are not the only money makers for the regime it also dispatches lawyers to the forests of siberia peasants to farms young young even exports doctors the regimes most lucrative source of income acupuncturists and chiropractors are sent abroad to open practices there what they earn however goes to the regime back home and there are three of them. would let me into north korean waters.
he was the crazy here knows very little so i gave no story oh. ok yes then mr quest we once in a way is our in the world to hear for how long you've been here and will be. on. if the doctors are not allowed to talk without permission from the embassy. north korea reportedly generates four hundred fifty million euros a year from remittances earned by its citizens secretly working abroad. no records are kept of these secret funds and accounts documentation could potentially be used as evidence receipts bank transfers and internal notes are systematically
destroyed on the orders of the kim family. this enables the regime to deny their existence in front of the international community but above all to the starving population back home. they are not to get wind of the millions the kim family earns at their expense. children both ends of the record when i was a worker too but i didn't get anything for six or eight months. i worked myself to the bone. so i reckoned why not help myself this man spent many years in siberia prior to his defection he worked his way up to management level feeling remorse he wanted to break his years of silence in the hope that his testimony could help other former foreign workers who are still prisoners of the system or. where we moved out of the room on the people position above the
workers siphon off huge sums of money from those salaries for themselves sort of let's say our bosses land a contract for ten million. tell us that it's seven million was a little bit and we tell our foreman that it's even lower maybe five million. so even then we're still able to transfer our mandatory share to the regime another trick is to negotiate fifty men for a job. then we arrange to use only twenty and we send the rest elsewhere that means we can put aside a pile of money for ourselves. in a good month how much did you earn around twenty thousand dollars you were in one month yes. do you know how much office thirty nine earns per year and how much of that goes into developing missiles. with.
me that nobody knows that. that's the most strictly guarded secret of all. nobody in office thirty nine can say neither the amount for the office workers nor the costs for the workers or any other figure. if they were taught watered it all plans to acquire nuclear weapons were first conceived by the regime back in one thousand nine hundred fifty three during the korean war after the us threatened to deploy its nuclear arsenal against the country since coming to power in twenty eleven kim jong un has launched eighty five missiles and conducted for nuclear tests twice as many as his father and grandfather combined the test missiles were fired over the sea of japan or in the direction of the pacific with the capability to send nuclear warheads as far as california chung young now insists that washington would never dare to attack north korea again. on november twenty ninth two thousand and seventeen north korea surprised the world with the test launch of
an intercontinental ballistic missile kim jong un told his people that the country was now a nuclear power and boasted that it could deliver a strike anywhere in the u.s. at the same time a group of eight men of different nationalities convened at the new york headquarters of the united nations where a race against time began they comprised experts on rocket technology finance aviation and shipping experts some were from the civilian sector others from intelligence agencies their work is top secret their goal to dry up the secret money sources of the kim family for their own safety no photos exist of this expert committee only hugh griffiths the group's head since twenty fourteen was willing to talk on camera these rockets that years but the stigma so relate to technology that has being recovered by the south korean navy ships close it off. when the wreckage is washed out and they've recovered it and then they've invited
the panel to inspect this this step. and once we've inspects of the debris we know the serial numbers we take photographs and then in many cases we're able to trace back. just sticks and procurement chain. so that's the real purpose and then we have what's left of that. says one of the often the first those who see killer as a cluster of them rather. you want to secure this. well our investigations show the percentage all the components used in iraq some missiles. have been sold still brought these goods will be exported in the first instance to other countries in asia to business and such as singapore. hong kong. so that
to a large multinational company based in say europe for selling the goods everything appears to be an old of those no north korean trace on the only official paperwork in addition to research work the committee wields its own weapon the economy they devised sanctions that became progressively more severe in order to isolate north korea. we waited five months for official permission to fly to north korea the north korean diplomats didn't want us to film in winter fearing that the power outages might leave a bad impression finally in late march twenty eight hundred with temperatures rising again it happened we were granted permission to travel by train to north korea via china and the border town of dunn. we find a country where time appears to have stood still
a country that has been largely cut off from the outside world since one thousand nine hundred fifty three. every inch of arable land is farmed. everything serves to feed the nation. for seven hours the fields rolled by to this day still farmed using only hand tools and manual labor. most of north korea's nuclear power plants are located in this region. takes us close to three year rainy a mines a number of underground facilities and also the new nuclear research center which went operational in one thousand nine hundred sixty five with the help of the soviet union it is the heart of the country's nuclear program.
our escorts await us in the capital pyongyang. we're now entering a world reserved for the privileged section of the population. these streets and boulevards serve three million residents ten percent of the population the most loyal supporters of the regime a special permit is required to enter the city our two guides accompany us from dawn until late at night they've been tasked with showing us that plan young despite all the sanctions imposed by the united nations is no longer some economically crippled city with a poverty stricken population all thanks to the new national heroes the scientists . this architect spent eight years studying in france after leaving the a cold us are now for architecture in paris he returned to north korea in two thousand and
ten today he's one of the best architects in the capital designing skyscrapers for the new elite is inside the costly. this building was constructed in a slum here in just under eight months and that again an economically challenging time for koreans we go but they still managed to complete it all we want to show that we can live in continue to develop and can afford everything we needed about the and promoting scientific advancement plays an extremely important role in our own development opens up the whole of the way of all the residents here have occupations in science and technology. including teaching staff and everything else that the celts jaso because yeah they'd also in yog the self. who. is hello hello. can i keep my shoes on
yes. hello. how old is he eight months. look at the pictures. they speak volumes there is our esteemed leader personally giving people decorations. for koreans these are the most glorious occasions. i was really happy when we moved in here i could only cry and think about his love the marshall devotes a lot of time to the scientists and they reward him with their industriousness. my husband has been a scientist for thirty years. house. her husband teaches fluid mechanics at the technical university of tim cheick the apartment
they were assigned has two hundred square meters of floorspace the regime also provides the furniture. not everyone in junge young lives in modern high rises like this one but this family is far from an exception every year since kim jong un came to power he has built and inaugurated a new residential district that his involved fifty new residential blocks sprouting up within the space of a few months they're intended for the scientists and their families who have rendered extraordinary services for the regime one of these high rises is home to an architect's office serving kim jong. un's excellent work. as long. as the ports are for the full course there's always more work to be done there are always more projects we never enough architects this is in itself a huge building site everyone is tied up in at least two or three projects and is working nonstop. but it's still not really enough that's what we do all nighters.
given the international situation and all the sanctions doesn't that hamper construction. but no no not at all i don't see how that would have an impact on that. i saw a lot of construction sites in europe where work was immediately suspended after a crisis but here we carry on working despite the growing number of projects in the pipeline we're not afraid of anything we keep on making progress regardless. was was in the how is north korea able to finance this construction boom has it been able to shrug off the sanctions out on the streets the standardized socialist dress code has been lent a little more color in the last three years the mood seems almost relaxed and yet
the regime still governs its people with an iron fist even the slightest critical gesture or word of disapproval will soon find some one in one of the country's many camps for political prisoners since kim jong un has been in power however there have been signs of a reorientation the orders now are to ensure that the economy evolves at the same pace as the nuclear program. the one who cut all this to size. but be careful. down there you have to cut it straight look this is not straight. after the money that we built this entire set of ourselves and thanks to these korean built machines we've been able to automate a number of jobs and also reduce our power consumption. as
a result we've almost doubled our production capacity everything here is a joint product of the experts from the academy of science and the researchers at kim il sung university. but where does the material for the shoes come from. through them we're unable to import materials due to the strategy of our enemies so we produce everything ourselves. that involves checking which components we have available so that we can make our own shoes ok small town is most of. the key factors for this economic revival innovation and adaptation the goal is to perseverance and prove to the world that the country doesn't need anyone else. we have solar panels. we have them installed on practically all foundry roofs. they
generate up to four hundred kilowatts of electricity. our factories need a capacity of only three hundred kilowatts. that means the electricity generated from the solar panels is easily enough to keep our factory running despite the sanctions and the isolation. you can. the shoe factory is one of a number of model factories that kim jong un has had built for each sector of industry they all include a digital control center with a direct connection to pyongyang's universities and research centers more model factories are to be set up across the country. the regime dictates which roles everyone is assigned the country's economy and society are centrally planned right down to the fate of each individual.
young north koreans know as soon as they're in elementary school how their lives will pan out depending on their abilities their family background and the needs of the party the state selects their career many end up in the military. the country has a standing army of one million soldiers in north korea men are subject to a minimum compulsory military service totaling ten years those who manage to be admitted to kim il sung university the country's most prestigious college are usually exempt this is where the next generation of engineers economists bankers and businessmen are educated the future personnel of office thirty nine. need this facility was founded by a commander in chief with the noble idea of training men and women for leadership positions in the korea of tomorrow our d.l.
leader kim jong il sent us a letter in december two thousand and nine saying keep your feet on the ground and look at the world combine a noble spirit with the wealth of knowledge and become the supporting structure for my late father's revolution make sure that the whole world looks up to the korea of kim il sung. is north korea's economic upswing and economic miracle a final fake conflict to keep the people in the dark about the new wave of sanctions threatening to bring the country to its knees the official figures cannot be verified unable to talk to citizens directly we can't say what they think and feel all we can take away are our general observations. traveling across the country the impression you get is that a brighter future awaits following the famine of the one nine hundred ninety s. which claimed the lives of between six hundred thousand and one million people the streets have no cars but some dashes of new color life is hard but seemingly not as
hard as it used to be. kim jong un spent part of his childhood under a false identity in switzerland did he bring the dream of modernization and opening up with him from europe. the young dictator possesses a nuclear bomb that protects him home and abroad and. also consolidate his power but where as his father and grandfather built statues and palaces he builds railways bowling alleys swimming pools museums of natural history and leisure parks facilities no longer just serving the elite cultural advances in science and industry opium for a people who are for now still in all of new developments the aim to reinforce the dictatorship now in its third generation. in a sign of the times on this evening the colors of north korea shine in splendor for the first time after dark is north korea getting outside help russia and above all china vote in favor of u.n.
sanctions while at the same time continuing to trade with north korea an overthrow of kim jong un's regime is not something they want to see. the country's secret coffers and assets keep growing even in places where you'd least expect it such as berlin in the heart of europe. in two thousand and sixteen the german authorities began trying to close down this youth hostel located on the grounds of the north korean embassy. since two thousand and eight the rent totaling more than thirty eight thousand euros a month has gone directly to the kim family. germany has terminated the lease but the owners of the hostel have steadfastly refused to vacate the premises. do you know whether office thirty nine makes money in france or germany or italy and
france or germany sure. kill. the long a little and there are no workers in those countries because of the stringent laws pointed their way but one thing they do have is money and wealth fund it. north korea buys and sells real estate she says parental or speculative profit. if they were to do direct business in those countries and openly show that our company is a north korean company mediately be subject to a tax on it. we rent out apartments. nobody knows who the owner is really we just collect the rents. do you know the names of these firms. as i don't know if i were to tell you that they'd end up on the sanctions list right away wouldn't it just yes north korea is an awful dictatorship but the people who serve the regime faithfully like me are my friends or even the bosses
are just doing our job that someone didn't know any book in the us is pretty evil perhaps what they do is in itself banned but there is still a code of honor between us there is a a thing you got to. do they earn money in the us. not that i know. him of you but we do do everything we can to relieve them of money . we have technology hacking that includes blackmailing software that north korea hacks into the us infrastructure industry or digital companies. we can't analyze or make much use of the data as such we just hack our way in. and then demand money in return for
guaranteeing that we will keep the data to ourselves. it's basically north korea taking digital data as a hostage. you know stopping these you know code the real trade with china coal and iron ore and other stuff you know this is the real ascension so he took only seven months that. they would not stop everything how can this top or north koreans you know. how many shadow companies and operatives are there how far does their network truly extend and what kind of danger do they pose. of final reports the security council we've documented north korean weapons prohibited military training programs in dozens of african and middle eastern member states in
mozambique the contracts one of the contracts we saw was worth more than six million dollars in tanzania the contract was worth a similar amount in euro's a little more i think maybe twelve million. so it's all about the money part of the problem with ballistic missiles is that. the technology wasn't supplied to all the countries that want to technology so the north koreans stepped in and this is very alarming that in terms of proliferation there was this. new killer. now the new kill a facility in syria that was set up with north korea and a systems i'm mrs this is the kind of activity that i know concerns
a lot of people. and the north koreans also have a syringe stockpile of chemical weapons as well. it's been twenty years since lim ill fled the kuwaiti desert where he'd been working on construction sites in the meantime he's become a father again here in seoul he has two sons they know they also have a big sister somewhere on the other side of the border. you know the irony about it would be the more i wonder what it is that made me who i am pretty that if it were a normal regime i would never have run away. and this mismanaged system and the forced me to make that terrible decision. once a month in seoul refugees from the north meet up in a christian center in order to remember their families and their people back home
almost like the orphans of the man who was once their leader they turn to their god to rediscover a purpose in their lives. while in the north those taking orders from the dictators continue to work in the shadows at home and abroad to guarantee the survival of the regime. it's a long running dispute spain's government wants to be buried francisco franco's remains the former dictator's mausoleum is to be i suppose much known. for some it's income . for others it's an overdue step in the right direction. a country divided then as now spain and the stars of the past.
thirty minutes on d w. climate change. sustainability. environmental friendships. give globalisation the face biodiversity species conservation exploitation quality. human rights displacement. of the global and current of local action. global three thousand and ninety minutes on g.w. . reads a sex phone operator who works her masters thesis on the potato from the river to marie. not the turn on well it gets more ridiculous from
a out of. literature list predetermined straight. cut. this is news live from her lead in turkey's president suffers a blow of local elections the opposition celebrates as it gains control of the capital ankara the commercial capital is stone cold looks set to follow what does this mean for president the end of one and for the future of the country. also coming up she could have faced death by hanging now a vietnamese woman accused of killing the north korean leader's half brother wins