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North Korea lauds S. Korean movie 'The Host' for anti-American stance

11:35 November 16, 2006

SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea gave a rare compliment to a South Korean blockbuster movie on Thursday, upholding its critical stance toward the U.S. troops stationed in the South and dubbing them the "monster of the Han River."

The remarks came as the mega-hit thriller by Bong Joon-ho was set to be released in the United States next month. The story revolves around a monster created by toxic fluid poured into the Seoul river on the orders of a U.S. Army boss, and is based on a real accident in 2000.

"The movie portrays realistically and through impersonation that the American troops occupying South Korea are the monster that steals people's lives and destroys their happiness," North Korea's weekly magazine Tongil Sinbo said in its latest edition. The commentary was carried by the North's Web site Uriminzokkiri.

With its phenomenal success, setting the local box office record with 13 million tickets sold and winning international prizes, the film caused environmentalists in the South to call for an investigation into land pollution by the U.S. military bases. Albert McFarland, a mortician with U.S. Forces Korea who allegedly ordered the dumping of formaldehyde into the river, was given a two-year suspended sentence and released on bail.

North Korea said the movie boosted anti-American sentiment among South Koreans.

"The movie 'The Host' reflected South Korea's reality and people's psychology there. In the South, environmental crimes by the U.S. troops are very serious and is a life or death matter directly related to people," it said.

hkim@yna.co.kr
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