DISPATCHES: CHILDREN OF THE SECRET STATE
With the help of undercover cameraman 'Ahn Chol', who risked his life to film there, Joe Layburn reports on the horrifying world within North Korea's secret state where years of the brutal regime has led to widespread famine, disease, particularly among the country's children, and even cannibalism. The North Korean government claims to feed its population through a central distribution system, but the thousands of street children are testimony that the system is failing. As journalists are forbidden inside North Korea, Layburn assumes the guise of a tourist and is accompanied by an official guide at all times. Meanwhile, Ahn Chol undertakes a dangerous mission to capture images of this hidden world. Layburn also interviews Korean street kids in China where they have managed to escape, from whom he hears the stories of how some children have resorted to cannibalism. A North Korean farmer who also escaped to China provides an explanation for the famine that is rife in the country. He was ordered to stop growing food, and to grow opium for the government instead, the profits from which go to the state army.