Former North Korean army captain will talk at Amnesty International Shoreditch film screening

Director of the North Korean Residents Society, Joo Il Kim, will talk about the suffering and starvation he witnessed in North Korea while travelling with the army, which prompted him to defect across the Chinese border.

A screening of an acclaimed film about a North Korean man’s attempt to save his sick wife by leaving the country in search of medicine will be preceded by a rare talk from a former army captain who fled the country in 2005.

Director of the North Korean Residents Society, Joo Il Kim, will talk about the suffering and starvation he witnessed in North Korea while travelling with the army, which prompted him to defect across the Chinese border.

He will also discuss the plight of North Koreans who are not recognised as refugees by China and so are returned to North Korea where they face harsh reprisals and likely internment in North Korea’s notoriously brutal prison camps.

His question and answer session will follow a screening of Crossing (Keurosing), which details the tragic plight of ex-footballer Kim Yong Soo, who crossed illegally into China to buy medicine for his pregnant wife, who had tuberculosis.

The film plots his attempts to evade capture by the Chinese authorities and to get back to his wife and young son during a famine which ravaged North Korea in the 1990s.

It will be shown at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in New Inn Yard in Shoreditch at 7pm on Monday June 24.