Crossing the Line
In 1962, a U.S. soldier sent to guard the peace in South Korea deserted his unit, walked across the most heavily fortified area on earth and defected to the Cold War enemy, the communist state of North Korea. He then simply disappeared from the face of the known world. He became a coveted star of the North Korean propaganda machine, and found fame acting in films, typecast as an evil American.
He uses Korean as his daily language. He has three sons from two wives. He has now lived in North Korea twice as long as he has in America. At one time, there were four Americans living in North Korea. Today, just one remains. Now, after 45 years, the story of Comrade Joe, the last American defector in North Korea, is told.
Based on our work on the two North Korean films over the last five years, VeryMuchSo Productions, in partnership with Koryo Tours, has gained the trust of the North Korean authorities. This has enabled clear and unrestricted access to James Joseph Dresnok and to the North Korean-based families of the other U.S. defectors.