Entertainment News

  • 13 January 2014, 7:34

Washington 'More Dangerous' Than North Korea

Two US rappers who have been to one of the world's most secretive countries, North Korea, have told Sky News their home city of Washington DC is a more dangerous place.

Anthony Bobb and Dontray Ennis - known as Pacman and Peso -also said the North Korean people should not be seen as "bad" just because of controversial leader Kim Jong-Un's actions.

It is almost universally accepted that North Korea has the worst human rights record in the world.

As many as 200,000 political prisoners are locked up in labour camps around the country. Escapees have said that torture is routine.

Last month, Mr Kim had his uncle executed, hailing the elimination of "factional filth" within his ruling party.

He accused General Jang Song-Thaek, who was once considered the second most powerful individual in the North, of trying to build his own power base.

The rappers raised $10,000 on a crowd funding website to fund a trip to the nation which they say everyone should see for themselves.

Their manager, who had a friend going on a personal trip there, suggested they went along too.

The rappers' video for their song Escape To North Korea, filmed in and around the capital Pyongyang, has been seen more than 150,000 times after going viral.

Peso told Sky: "You can't say a whole nation of people is bad just because of one person's actions.

"I think the reason why that's put on the North Korean people is because of the leaders.

"What the people where I'm from don't realise is what they (North Koreans) were taught and how they came up as a nation off of that one person.

"What we learned was that it was for him (the leader) protecting his own people, they didn't compromise, they wanted to stay independent. That's what happened."

Pacman said: "Nothing that goes on there is any more than goes on in my streets. Nine times out of 10 you get robbed on my streets more than out of North Korea."

News of their trip came as another high-profile American, formerbasketball star Dennis Rodman, also visited the country.

He led a team of retired American players in a game to celebrate the birthday of Mr Kim which may help break down barriers between the US and the North.

The colourful sportsman sang Happy Birthday to the leader, but his side were defeated by the North Korean players chosen to play them.

Under the North Korean regime's "three generations of punishment" system, individuals found guilty of a crime are sent to the labour camps with their entire family.

The subsequent two generations of that family are then born in the camp and live their lives locked up inside.

In his New Year message, broadcast on state television, Mr Kim said of his uncle's execution: "Our party took resolute action to remove ... scum elements within the party last year."

South Korean media said they believed he was killed by machine gun, a relatively common form of execution in the North.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

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