DMZ Film Goes North

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DMZ Film Goes North

A South Korean blockbuster movie that depicts an illicit friendship between North and South Korean border guards in the Demilitarized Zone will soon be watched by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, film industry and government officials said Thursday.

North-South-21, a South Korean company promoting cultural exchanges with the North, said that the film, "Joint Security Area," will be delivered to an official of the North's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee in Beijing on Friday.

The film has already attracted 4.9 million South Korean viewers, with 2 million in Seoul alone, according to the producers.

The Unification Ministry gave permission on Tuesday. This would mark the first time that a South Korean film will enter the Communist state with the Seoul government's approval.

The North Korean leader is widely regarded as a film buff and has a strong liking for South Korean films. But a ministry official said earlier that Mr. Kim criticized a South Korean-made spy thriller, "Swiri," which came out last year. That film tells of a love affair between a South Korean intelligence agent and a North Korean terrorist who is killed in the end by her lover.

In August, when South Korean media executives visited Pyongyang, they delivered four South Korean films, including "Chunhyang," a love story set in the Choson Dynasty. Those films were given to Mr. Kim without the government's approval, as they were considered "presents."



by Lee Soo-jeong

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