An American GI Defected to North Korea in 1962. Now His Sons Are Propaganda Stars

By Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.
May 26, 2016 Updated: July 9, 2016

In 1962, James Joseph Dresnok, an American GI stationed in South Korea, defected to North Korea. He later had two sons, who now work as media stars, starring in propaganda videos and action flicks produced by the communist regime. 

Recently, Ted and James Dresnok appeared in a lengthy interview with Minjok Tongshin, a pro-North Korean media company based in the United States. 

They spoke about geopolitics, where the two brothers predictably delivered the pro-North Korean line, blaming America for the tension between the two countries. 

“I want to advise the U.S. to drop its hostile policy against North Korea. They’ve done enough wrong and now it’s time for them to wake up from their delusions,” Ted said in the interview, according to the Washington Post. 

Ted was wearing a navy suit with a Kim badge attached to it. His brother was wearing a green army uniform, as he held the rank of captain in the North Korean army. 

“The American Imperialists caused the division of the Korean peninsula,” James said.

The elder Dresnok took a job teaching English after he went to North Korea, and also starred in North Korean movies, a tradition passed on to his sons. 

Both his sons were born and raised in North Korea, and they speak the language perfectly. A 2014 documentary about the defector shows that his sons spoke English with a Korean accent. 

Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.