tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle August 19, 2019 7:15am-8:01am CEST
this is a country where the war never ended. every morning at exactly 6 am loudspeakers across north korea sound a morning wake up call featuring the same melody every day. 2 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 is another one of them 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 in the political representatives. and are always held both positions around but there is a process they put together that will. if that's how i learned to give orders and how to lead people. at the border between the 2 koreas divided by a cold war time stand still with no peace agreement ever signed the war has been
suspended since hostilities ceased in 1953 in the course of the next 6 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 50 kilometers away from the border to north korea in the space of just
20 years the south korean capital became the 4th 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 2 years today he calls himself michael kim he's 28 years old and works part time as a museum attendant. they really want to this is an exhibition organized by the sole authorities. 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 in this it is it was having actually lived there myself i've been asked to explain in further detail.
both on a. ride on when 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 39. years and that was unusual. is that you know want to listen. i was only 25 when i joined i was the youngest member of staff that said it was 10 years you course it was a bold and killed example when it offers 39 manages and directs all the economic activities of thousands of firms in factories or. highly paid so we hire him and the office was set up to earn money for the regime outside the country . i thought i was over there on to kind of a clue because half of north korea's gross domestic product comes from office 39
sort of on the. first course you don't know we assume that. 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 3 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 39 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 were taught and up with oh there was
a good 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 994 and starting a year later in may 995 the state was no longer able to provide the normal food ration people started to panic. this was the 1st time they had reduced the rations good i had a 2 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 it was a family of 4 or 5 can live for at least 6 months on my salary of over $120.00 a month if i sent it if young young with her with a new crew. and after 2 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 mouth shut. we kept on working at night to using our flashlights and. we could fight off sleep and just carry on. i kept working like that for 5 months and all that time i didn't get paid. i felt cheated and. sending workers abroad was an idea 1st introduced in 1974 a gigantic network of clandestine companies and financial constructs gradually evolved all of them with one sole goal earning money for office 39. this man was likewise born in the north in pyongyang in early 2000 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 2003 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 3 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 now turns on and before communal so he gather all
this and then spend it or coding to his priorities so $2.00 economies one is to family economy and the other one is the national economy run by the cabinet and run by their so called you know central planning so to family i call it you know royal court economy royal court economy they possess all the best profitable businesses there is toto's this department stores you know those services in the rest trunks they are making money for in cash and then it also goes to interview not into. soul separate economy. the money that you make will never good central economy not. central bank. finance ministry and trade bank they can
never. what pope their nose into all businesses in that they can never they can not ask a tipping can get up or and then read a look at the so let's say a 1000000000 years dollar a year to get that cash in cash and then she use that now nuclear missile program if you know consumes a lot of money it's from those pocket there are different will curse you know at most 150000 maybe 50000 in russia and a little more in china and other receivers scattered around the world so true than 50 thought and they make a lot of money there's only. so 70 percent 80 percent of the celery cuts and sent to the state in the party so
if they make all of them a $100.00. deal mountie is how much civil man knowing it. put in your own. pair were smug $1515000000.00 a month they don't make only 100 years bucks a year month in they make more maybe several 100 at least so a lot of money is going to control. the volume of their cash income consumed once funds increased dramatically in the past in the past 20 years in the past 20 years so you can buy more and he can. to continue this in
a nuclear and missile program for the crew of the younger the mother thought of the night of the day calling it oh god especially in places where we have a special agreement in places like eastern europe southeast asia africa. the rio workers everywhere. from 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 70 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 assigned the same way in each construction site. the mongolian workers are used for exteriors jobs while the 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 1st just send our interpreter. hello hello with 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 even 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 bought are 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 so. when did you come here to mongolia. 3 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 have not earned a lot of mongolian money and why not and she 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
there's a lot of bad people around really. do you have family north korea how many childrens are there. i have one child. my wife was pregnant when i left. i've never seen much arnold. so 3 years old 3 yes. i got a letter saying i was a boy i'm desperate to go and see my son. the workers usually have 3 year contracts and are not allowed to go home during a 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 1200 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 loggers to the forests of siberia peasants to farms young young even exports doctors the regime's 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 3 of them. would lead to into north korean waters more. than we think we're here now for you know i guess no story. well
yes and we're still best we once in a way is our in the world the new here for how long we. will be. if the doctors are not allowed to talk without permission from the embassy. north korea reportedly generates 450000000 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. total doldrums of the record when i was a worker too but i didn't get anything for 6 or 8 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 world on the people positioned 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 $10000000.00 or so tell us that it's 7000000 was a little bit and we tell our foreman that it's even lower maybe 5000000. so even then we're still able to transfer our mandatory share to the regime. another trick is to negotiate 60 men for a job then we arrange to use only 20 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 $20000.00 you were in one month yes. do you know how much office $39.00 earns per year and how much of that goes into developing missiles. with. it is nobody knows that. that's the most strictly guarded secret of all.
nobody in office 39 can say neither the amount for the office workers nor the costs for the workers or any other figure. if they were to talk about it at all. plans to acquire nuclear weapons were 1st conceived by the regime back in 1953 during the korean war after the us threatened to deploy its nuclear arsenal against the country since coming to power in 2011 kim jong un has launched 85 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 young young now insists that washington would never dare to attack north korea again. on november 29th 2017 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 8 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 2014 was willing to talk on camera these rockets that years of a stigma so relate to technology that was being recovered by south korean navy ships close off. when the rector just washed out when they've recovered it and then the invites at the panel to inspect this. and once we've
inspected the note on the serial number we take photographs and then in many cases we're able to trace back. the logistics and procurement chain. so that's the rope and then we have what's left of that. says one of the the 1st dose you see killer is a cluster of them around about. you want to obscure this. well our investigation show the percentage all of the components used in iraq some missiles. have been sourced a broad these goods will be exported in the 1st instance to other countries in asia to business and so such as singapore. hong kong. so that sue
a large multinational company based in say europe for selling the goods everything appears to be an old 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 5 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 2800 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 1953.
every inch of arable land is farmed. everything serves to feed the nation. for 7 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 our route takes us close to 3 year ania mines a number of underground facilities and also the new young beyond nuclear research center which went operational in 1965 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 $3000000.00 residents 10 percent of the population the most loyal supporters of the regime a special permit is required to enter the city our 2 guides accompany us from dawn until late at night they've been tasked with showing us that john 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 8 years studying in france after leaving the a call last year now for architecture in paris he returned to north korea in 2010 today he's one of the best architects in the capital designing skyscrapers for the new elite. decide the costly. this building was constructed in iceland
here in just under 8 months and that again an economically challenging time for koreans like the wolf we go but they still manage to complete it all we want to show that we can living continue to develop and can afford everything we need it up on it and promoting scientific advancement plays an extremely important role in our own development opens up the whole of developing all the residents here have occupations in science and technology. including teaching staff if it meant everything else that the south's jaso if they close it and they don't send you all the stuff. you. know. hello hello can i keep my shoes on yes. hello.
8 months. look at the pictures. they speak volumes there is our esteemed leader and personally giving people decorations. for koreans is 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 30 years. her husband teaches fluid mechanics at the technical university of kim cheick the apartment they were assigned has $200.00 square metres of floor space the regime also provides the furniture. not everyone in john 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 has involved 50 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. for. one of. the points off for the full course there's always more work to be done there are always more projects we never have enough architects this is in itself a huge building site everyone is tied up in at least 2 or 3 projects and is working nonstop. but it's still not nearly enough that's what we do all nighters.
given the international situation and all the sanctions doesn't that hamper construction no no no not at all i don't see how that would have an impact the other day 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 3 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 someone 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. of. 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 month that we built this entire set up ourselves and thanks to these korean built machines we've been able to automate a number of jobs you know 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. and. 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 $400.00 kilowatts of electricity. our factories need
a capacity of only $300.00 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 are 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 $1000000.00 soldiers in north korea men are subject to a minimum compulsory military service totaling 10 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 39. this facility was founded by a commander in chief with the noble idea of training men and women for a leadership position. ns in the korea of tomorrow our d.l. leader kim jong il sent us a letter in december 2009 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 1990 s. which claimed the lives of between 600001 1000000 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 at 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 culture 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 3rd generation. in a sign of the times on this evening the colors of north korea shine in splendor for the 1st 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 2016 the german authorities began trying to close down this youth hostel located on the grounds of the north korean embassy since 2008 the rent totaling more than 38000 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 39 makes money in france or germany. and france or germany sure. it will. bring in a long
a little there are no workers in those countries because of the stringent laws pointed to it but one thing they do have is money and wealth for. the ones where the world will them a north korea buys and sells real estate his parental or speculative profit what do . they know. if they were to do direct business in those countries and openly show that our company is a north korean company we'd immediately be subject to a tax on it it will be rent out apartments. nobody knows who the owner is really no more just collect the rents. will do you know the names of these firms. if i were to tell you that they'd end up on the sanctions list right away. just yes north korea is an awful dictatorship but the people who serve the regime faithfully like me or my friends or even the bosses are just doing our job someone didn't do
it really well and joining us is illegal perhaps what they do is in itself banned but there is still a code of honor between us. then you go out and. do they earn money in the us. not that i know. i remember 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. that. it's basically north
korea taking digital data as ostrich. you know stalking this in of the real trade with china coal and iron ore and other stuff you know this is the real ascension so we took the only silver mine but that would not stop everything how can this top or north koreans. 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 and dozens of african and middle eastern member states in mozambique the contracts one of the contracts we saw was worth more than 6000000
dollars in tense and near the contract was worth a similar amounts in euro's a little more i think maybe $12000000.00. so it's all about the money part of the problem with ballistic missiles is that. the technology wasn't supplied through 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 cologne. you know a new killer facility in syria that was set up with north korea and the systems and this is this is the kind of activity that i know concerns a lot of people. and the north koreans also have a huge stockpile of chemical weapons as well.
it's been 20 years since limbed 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 2 sons they know they also have a big sister somewhere on the other side of the border. you know during i think about it with you 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 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. alexandr for home both. our series on tomorrow today. we want to see what he saw to experience what drove him. but journeys through latin america following the footsteps of the great scientist. the next stage of our journey takes us into being amazon region to make vision as much wire people to borrow today in 90 minutes doubloon.
careering to me. not everyone who loves books has to go in saying. that t.w. literature list 100 german must reads. how does thailand taste it. w. correspondent susan hum and post a link to explore the various flavors of exotic cuisine. fusion and sun i am the challenge for you. tasty tied to. start september 1st on d w.
this is the w. news live from berlin the warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe aboard a migrant rescue ship. the. conditions are growing desperate aboard the open arms 2 weeks after italy refused to let it enter an italian court but the grid is now saying that it's offered to let it docked in the nearest spanish port also coming up. uranium oil tanker detained into brawl to have sailed for international waters with a new.