Deported Korean American says she's witch hunt victim

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Deported Korean American says she's witch hunt victim

Deported Korean American activist Shin Eun-mi is seen on a screen behind director Kim Sang-kyu who attends a news conference at a local theater in Seoul, Monday, to promote his documentary "How Red Are You." The film features Shin during her trip to South Korea in 2014 when she was on a book tour and claimed North Korea is a welfare state where human rights are protected. Shin was deported to the United States in 2015 and received a five-year travel ban to South Korea. The documentary film will hit local theaters on Aug. 8. / Yonhap

Documentary "How Red Are You" featuring deported activist to hit local theaters on Aug. 8

By Kang Hyun-kyung

A Korean American, who was deported by the Korean government in 2015 on charges of violating the National Security Law, accused the Korean media of generating fake news about her.

During a video press conference at a theater in Seoul's Gwangjin-gu to promote the forthcoming documentary "How Red Are You" which features her during a trip to South Korea in 2014, Shin Eun-mi claimed she is the victim of a witch hunt.

Director Kim Sang-kyu filmed her when she lectured in South Korea and promoted her book in 2014.

"I was painted as a communist as the Korean media outlets launched the witch hunt," she said. "Back in 2014, I was an ordinary Korean American housewife and presented my candid opinons about North Korea based on my experiences. My story went viral, and fabricated stories about me had gone on for almost two months."

Shin traveled to North Korea nine times. Based on her experiences, she released a book in 2014. Starting November of the year, she traveled all across South Korea on a book tour. During a public speech, she said about 80 percent to 90 percent of North Korean defectors in the South were ready to go back to the North if their home country welcomed them.

She described North Korea as a welfare state where human rights are protected.

Her remarks caused a stir. In 2015, she was deported to the United States and also got a five-year entry ban to South Korea.

Shin filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government over the deportation order and the entry ban. She lost the suit and appealed to the higher court, but she lost the legal battle again.

On Monday, Shin said the ruling was wrong and unfair.

"I was forced to leave my country because of the flawed order, which also banned me from entering South Korea for five years from 2015, which I think was also flawed," she said during the video conference. "South Korea is my home country and it will be mine forever. I am anxious to go back there again. Inter-Korean relations have improved a lot over recent years and the winds of change have blown on the Korean Peninsula. The historical breakthrough made me more anxious to visit the South. I am planning to visit both South and North Korea."

In the South, Shin claimed fake news about North Korea is still rampant. She criticized some unspecified North Korean defectors for allegedly demonizing the North.

Director Kim said he wants audiences to make their own, impartial judgments about "How Red Are You." The film will hit local theaters on Aug. 8.


Deported Korean American activist Shin Eun-mi is seen on a screen behind director Kim Sang-kyu who attends a news conference at a local theater in Seoul, Monday, to promote his documentary "How Red Are You." The film features Shin during her trip to South Korea in 2014 when she was on a book tour and claimed North Korea is a welfare state where human rights are protected. Shin was deported to the United States in 2015 and received a five-year travel ban to South Korea. The documentary film will hit local theaters on Aug. 8. / Yonhap

Documentary "How Red Are You" featuring deported activist to hit local theaters on Aug. 8

By Kang Hyun-kyung

A Korean American, who was deported by the Korean government in 2015 on charges of violating the National Security Law, accused the Korean media of generating fake news about her.

During a video press conference at a theater in Seoul's Gwangjin-gu to promote the forthcoming documentary "How Red Are You" which features her during a trip to South Korea in 2014, Shin Eun-mi claimed she is the victim of a witch hunt.

Director Kim Sang-kyu filmed her when she lectured in South Korea and promoted her book in 2014.

"I was painted as a communist as the Korean media outlets launched the witch hunt," she said. "Back in 2014, I was an ordinary Korean American housewife and presented my candid opinons about North Korea based on my experiences. My story went viral, and fabricated stories about me had gone on for almost two months."

Shin traveled to North Korea nine times. Based on her experiences, she released a book in 2014. Starting November of the year, she traveled all across South Korea on a book tour. During a public speech, she said about 80 percent to 90 percent of North Korean defectors in the South were ready to go back to the North if their home country welcomed them.

She described North Korea as a welfare state where human rights are protected.

Her remarks caused a stir. In 2015, she was deported to the United States and also got a five-year entry ban to South Korea.

Shin filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government over the deportation order and the entry ban. She lost the suit and appealed to the higher court, but she lost the legal battle again.

On Monday, Shin said the ruling was wrong and unfair.

"I was forced to leave my country because of the flawed order, which also banned me from entering South Korea for five years from 2015, which I think was also flawed," she said during the video conference. "South Korea is my home country and it will be mine forever. I am anxious to go back there again. Inter-Korean relations have improved a lot over recent years and the winds of change have blown on the Korean Peninsula. The historical breakthrough made me more anxious to visit the South. I am planning to visit both South and North Korea."

In the South, Shin claimed fake news about North Korea is still rampant. She criticized some unspecified North Korean defectors for allegedly demonizing the North.

Director Kim said he wants audiences to make their own, impartial judgments about "How Red Are You." The film will hit local theaters on Aug. 8.


Kang Hyun-kyung hkang@koreatimes.co.kr


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