It all started with the movie. Inspired a movie about North Korea, Brian Chung, a fourth year student at UBC, decided to start an awareness group about the worldâ€™s only Communist country. â€œPUNK, or Promoting Understanding of North Korea, started two years ago. In our first year, we had a big concert at UBC to raise money for First Steps. We still have the concert this year but Iâ€™ve also started going around to local high schools to talk to students about North Korea,â€ explains Brian. Itâ€™s all about breaking down barriers and confronting the cliches and the misunderstandings.
During the interview, Brian faced the issue on theÂ Cheonan incidentÂ â€“ a North Korean torpedo has been blamed for the sinking of the South Korean navy ship and the deaths of 46 sailors. According to Brian, many countries, especially the United States and South Korea, are accusing North Korea for this misfortune. However, he doesnâ€™t think this would do any good for the already unstable relationship between the two Koreas and feels that it is unjust to plainly accuse North Korea without enough evidence. â€œIn the past, North Korea has been pretty blunt and honest about anything it does or intends to do,â€ explains Brian. â€œBut with the Cheonan incident, the country is strong on its stand that it was not responsible.â€ Brian feels that the media is to blame for all the accusations and misconceptions aimed at North Korea and urges any students who want to know the truth about the country to rely on third party organizations.
PUNK (Promoting Understanding of North Korea)