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HomeAsiaFilm Depicting North Korea’s Army Caste System Showcased on Radio Free Asia

Film Depicting North Korea’s Army Caste System Showcased on Radio Free Asia

Park Jin Chul was inebriated when he spat into his hand and held it out to Ri Kwang Hyuk, instructing the junior officer to eat it. Kwang Hyuk, who used to look up to him, refused after observing that Jin Chul had not changed and was only leading the unit due to his family’s higher status. Jin Chul then resorted to violence, grabbing Kwang Hyuk by the throat and slamming him against the wall. Jeong Haneul, a defector turned director, explained that his film “Two Soldiers” showcases the discrepancies in North Korea’s songbun system, which is similar to discriminatory caste-like situation. The film highlights the plight of individuals with the lowest sangubn-basically, paying for the crimes or loyalty lapses their ancestors committed. Jeong’ experience serving the North Korean military compelled him to escape to South Korea, and later make the film to reflect the injustices he witnessed. The film is loosely based on Jeong’s experience and is intentionally exaggerated to highlight how North Korea is capable of doing worse than portrayed in the film.

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