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FRONTLINE: NORTH KOREA'S DEADLY DICTATOR

What to know: Engrossing look at the rise to power of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the threat of his nuclear weapons program.
Recommended age 12-18
60 minutes
DVD
PBS DISTRIBUTION
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FRONTLINE: NORTH KOREA
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This Frontline/PBS program provides an engrossing look at the rise to power of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the threat his growing nuclear weapons program presents. Framing the program is an investigation into the brazen murder of Kim Jong-un's half-brother in 2017, one of several relatives deemed a threat to the dictator's sovereignty. Clips of the recent war of words between Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump illustrate bluntly the threat their adversarial relationship represents. The one hour program is fast-paced, but not rushed and information about the assassination of Kim Jong-un's half-brother is doled out in measured reveals, allowing the story to unfold as an exciting piece of investigative journalism. Production quality is excellent throughout and the filmmakers nicely utilize surveillance video. With so much focus on the half-brother, we don't get deep into the psyche of Kim Jong-un, but this is an excellent introduction to the very topical subject matter. Recommended for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.
Earlier this year, Kim Jong-un's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was ambushed in a Malaysian airport by two women bearing a lethal chemical weapon 10 times more powerful than sarin. He died en route to the hospital. Who planned the murder of Kim Jong-un's half-brother, and what does it reveal about the leader and his regime?

As nuclear tensions between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un escalate, producer Jane McMullen examines claims the North Korean leader and his intelligence services ordered the assassination on Kim Jong-nam, and sheds light on his broader intentions - and nuclear capabilities.

Drawing on interviews with a leading North Korean defector, diplomats, experts, Kim Jong-nam's school friends and even a former North Korean secret agent, the documentary is a rare glimpse inside the secretive country - and an eye-opening look at both how King Jong-un thinks, and how he's trying to ensure his regime's survival and perpetuate his own power.

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