Children of the Secret State

19th October 2000| Channel 4 Dispatches

Children of the Secret State’ is an investigation into North Korea, considered by many as the last Stalinist dictatorship, a hidden and sealed country riddled with propaganda and saturated with hostility to democracy and the West.

Joe Layburn and the Hardcash team discovered a young North Korean, known by the pseudonym ‘Ahn Chol’, who has been filming undercover so that the world can see what is going on in his native land: the country where his parents both starved to death.

His devastating footage shows some of the estimated 200,000 street children, mainly orphans, foraging for food in the mud and the gutters, ignored by the adults around them and ignored by the state which claims they are at its bosom.

Joe embarks on a state-run tourist visit of North Korea, revealing vast unoccupied hotels, empty boulevards and countless monuments of Kim Jong II, the county’s leader.


Reporter: Joe Layburn
Editor: Mel Quigley
Directed & Produced by Carla Garapedian
Executive Producer: David Henshaw