Turning propaganda on its head in South Korea(Read article summary)
A North Korean defector who created government propaganda before fleeing the country now uses his old work to criticize the man and country it honored.
Seoul, South Korea
â€˘ A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.
For Song Byeok, getting out of his homeland came at a price. The soft-spoken artist left North Korea in 2000 to find food as famine ravaged large parts of the country. Caught trying to cross the border, he spent seven months in a North Korean prison camp. After being amnestied, he successfully sneaked into China. A year later, he arrived in Seoul, South Korea.
Before fleeing to China, Mr. Song was a propaganda artist. In a rural studio south of the capital, Pyongyang, he created grinning portraits of â€śDear Leaderâ€ť Kim Jong-il and vibrant billboards of revolutionary workers and peasants. Now safely in Seoul, he has turned the regimeâ€™s ubiquitous propaganda imagery back on itself with a series critical of Mr. Kim.
â€śWhen a personâ€™s born, their first human right is freedom, and every individual has their own freedom,â€ť he says. â€śThe only country that doesnâ€™t have any of these things in the whole world is North Korea.â€ť