Critical North Korea Musical Debuts

With North Korea hogging headlines with its nuclear tests, maybe the public is ready for a musical about the country’s infamous prison system.

That seems to be the hope of Jung Sung-san, a man who defected from the isolated dictatorship and now lives in the U.S.

Last week, Jung’s musical “Yoduk Story” premiered in a suburb of Washington, D.C.

The story is about an actress who goes from “dancing revolutionary hero” to political prisoner in North Korea’s notorious gulag, where she is raped by a guard, becomes pregnant and eventually hangs herself.

Among the song titles featured in the show, which ran for three nights in Bethesda, Md., and four performances in Los Angeles, are “You Are Just Like Germs” and “All I Want is Rice.”

Jung, who fled to South Korea in 1994 after escaping from a North Korean jail, says the musical is fictional but based on stories he heard from other defectors.

– Philip Brasor