NK Defector Dresnok on 60 Minutes

Watch the video here to see an interview with the “last living American defector in North Korea,” Joe Dresnok. It’s quite a thing to see. Some reactions:

  • Who are these filmmakers and why are they OK with making documentaries that are flattering to North Korea?
  • I can’t believe this guy. While he denies it, Dresnok is the guy fellow defector Jenkins, who now resides in Japan with his wife the former NK kidnapping vicim, described as having beat him mercilessly when they were living together. And somehow he’s proud of his life, in which he’s been a drunk, violent man who was bred with another white person specifically to train spies (his son wants to be a “diplomat”? Sure…) and exploited as a propaganda tool. Maybe as someone who caught few breaks in life (and has no real family ties to the US) this is comparably a better lifestyle. But it’s impossible for me to feel any sympathy for a man who, when confronted with a question about why he was fed while millions of North Koreans perished of famine, cries tears of gratitude for his rulers rather than shame. I mean, the announcer has a point that the NK defectors thought more about where they were running from rather than where they were running to, but at least Jenkins has some perspective on this issue.
  • I’m not sure why 60 Minutes left out the detail that the defectors were paired up with women to try and breed them and produce spies. Maybe it would have been rude to Dresnok’s son?
  • Those propaganda radios have got to be annoying as hell. I wonder if they have a special battery-generator system in place to keep them going during blackouts.

You can also watch the July 2006 interview with Jenkins here.

One thought on “NK Defector Dresnok on 60 Minutes”

  1. Great segment. Here are some of my thoughts:

    – It’s surprising (and sad) how stunted Dresnok’s emotional development appears. He talks like an insecure 15 year old boy. For example, that remark about the “two blows” sounds like something a 7th grade bully would brag about.

    – The story mentioned that he had two sons with his European first wife but only featured one of them. I am curious as to the other’s whereabouts and doings.

    (You should also check out the segment beneath (“Brain Man”) the Dresnok story. This guy recited from memory the first 23,000 plus digits of pi!)

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