Thursday, March 30, 2006

Musical set in North Korean prison camp strikes a chord with many in Seoul

The musical "Yoduk Story" is stirring passion in some South Koreans as it runs at a small Seoul theater. Set in a prison camp, the play tells of an ill-fated love affair between a dancer, whose family was thrown into the prison, and the camp's commander. The director, Jung Sung San escaped North Korea in 1994 after he jumped from a truck carrying him to prison. He fled to China. Jung says South Korean government officials tried to pressure him not to open "Yoduk Story," and his investors bailed out at the last minute. Jung literally agreed to put a kidney up as collateral to open the play. Following the gesture, more than enough investors came forward to get Jung's play opened. Conservative South Korean politicians hail the play. Others see it as a great educational opportunity since South Korean schools do not teach of conditions in North Korean camps.

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