If you’re looking for a way to actively combat the situation in North Korea, HopeMob.org is having a kickstarter-like campaign to raise the requisite funds to rescue a North Korean refugee through the great organization LiNK (Liberty in North Korea).

Click HERE to go to their page and pledge your support.

As of writing, they only have two days left before the campaign closes.

Absolute Hunger

In the days leading up to tech the cast, designers, and crew are all hungry for opening weekend.

Our director located a clip displaying a very different type of hunger.  Note:  despite it’s very short length, the video is difficult to watch.

“A State of Mind”

A State of Mind is a 2004 documentary film directed by Daniel Gordon and produced by Nicholas Bonner. The film follows two North Korean child gymnasts and their families for over eight months during training for the 2003 Pyongyang mass games.

Watch the documentary in its entirety at THIS LINK.

The Mass Games

SMUGGLER:  Didn’t a flock of doves appear with plump grains of rice in their beaks to drop on the heads of your loyal family so your son would grow robust and strong and one day be chosen as a gymnast for the Mass Games on the Dear Leader’s birthday?

You for Me for You, scene 15 by Mia Chung

For anyone interested in learning more about the Mass Games referenced in scene 15– the following article is quite spectacular.  It provides a rare glimpse into the one time each year that North Korea opens its borders to outside scrutiny.  The result is a fantastic (and staggering) display of color, spectacle, and cultural pride.

From the GlobalPost.com:

The Mass Games, or Arirang Festival, is a gargantuan gymnastics show that takes place in North Korea every year between August and October.

The event provides a rare and colorful glimpse into a country largely sealed off from the outside world.

It is only during the staging of the mass games that North Korea opens its borders to American tourists.  This year Sam Gellman visted during this period.

Bringing along his camera, Gellman photographed the awe-inspiring blend of music, acrobatics and synchronized motion.

“The background image may be the most interesting of all as it is a constantly changing mural created by the flip-cards held by 30,000 children,” Gellman said.

“One message that was clear to me throughout was the communist tenant of the group over the individual, which shines through every aspect of the 90-minute show.”

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In June of 2010, the United States Government Accountability Office was called in to conduct a study on the US governments efforts to assist the resettlement of North Korean refugees in America.

Why GAO Did This Study

Famine killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans in the 1990s and compelled a large number of others to leave in search of food, economic opportunities, and escape from a repressive regime. This migration continues. Some North Koreans seek resettlement in other countries, such as South Korea and the United States. To promote a more durable humanitarian solution to the plight of North Korean refugees, Congress passed the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004. In reauthorizing the Act in 2008, Congress found that delays in processing North Korean refugees have led refugees to abandon their quest for U.S. resettlement. GAO was asked to (1) assess the U.S. government’s efforts to facilitate the processing of North Korean refugees who request resettlement in the United States from overseas, and (2) determine the number of North Koreans who have sought asylum to remain in the United States and the process by which they may do so. GAO is issuing a separate classified annex to this report. GAO analyzed data on North Korean refugees and asylees, interviewed agency officials, and conducted fieldwork in Asia.

This report does not contain recommendations. The Departments of State (State), Homeland Security, and Justice provided technical comments and GAO incorporated these comments, as appropriate.

While there are no solutions presented in this study, it does provide a very thorough overview of the challenges and process of a North Korean refugee seeking asylum in the United States.  It has helped to shed some light on the bureaucratic struggle that Minjee and Junhee face in their flight to America.

Read the entire report at the following link:  US-NK Resettlement.

Resettlement Numbers