ne. thank you, insurance for the modern world. esurance. now backed by allstate. click or call. on fox files, it's been called part of the axis of evil and a socialist nightmare. three generations fromge the sae family control the most reimpressive place on earth. now this 20 something son armed with nukes is the new dictator of north korea, but is there tbroagrowing dis sent in our cas go in the underground railroad. >> secret routes helping north koreans get out. this is extremely dangerous. >> for the first time this defector speaks. >> we escaped over the river at the narrowest part. >> and what does a hockey player, a banana baby from the 1930s, and blue blood's actress jennifer esposito have in common. >> you have the highest case
i've ever seen. >>a h we dig deep into the medil mystery of celiac disease. it's what happens when food becomes your enemy. this is fox files. >> december 28th, 2011. subzero temperatures and a winter snow grip north korea. as the world's most see corrective and oppressive country laid to rest its supreme leader, king km jong il. the world got a rare glimpse inside the sealed-off nation. hysterical throngs of north koreans lined the 25-mile route of the funeral procession in a ritualis of bizarre mourning. it's unclear if the wailing was genuine or motivated by fear.
>> people probably understand what would happen if they didn't show sufficient grief. >> the s state wanted them to behave this way. >> and t the state was working overtime in the days after kim jong il's death. they were ensuring that north koreans did not deviate from official ideology and behavior. >> north koreaia is the single most closed and reimpressive society in history. >> there's a fea er of the black mercedes that shows up to your home one day and takes you to the gulag. >>i you say there are tens of thousands of christians in north korea. >> there is an underground christian church within north korea. >> christian organizations rank it as the most persecuted church in the world, so there are tens of thousands of christians in the gulag. >> the culture personality established in north korea is nothing like anything we've seen
in thee 20th correctory. >> most important for the regime creating a new cult of personalities around this man, kim jungkim jong un. about him, little is known. >> wime don't even know how olde is. north korea hasn't released his birthdate. we assume he's in his late but n confirmed. >> he's believed to have studied in switzerland. we're not sure. >> what is known is he now commands the world's fourth largest army with 1.1 million soldiers and a nuclear arsenal with4t six bombs. though the population of 22 million act with blind devotion to their new leader, some people inside the country are beginning to show unprecedented dissent. >> we have an exodus of north koreans leaving the country. >> the new underground railroad is the network of safe houses and secret routes, helping north koreans get out. this is extremely dangerous
among christian missionaries who work with the north koreans. >> inia a fox files exclusive, e tracked down one man who risked everything to escape with his family. how scared were you when you were crossing that border? >> i knew that in order to live, i had to cross the river and get to the other side. >> they know when they leave north korea that they and their families are risking death. >> korea has been a nation divided by barbed wire, armies, and an unresolved war. >> like thers japanese defeatedt the end o of world war ii, the korean peninsula is divided north and south. >> while americans took control of the south, the soviet union established them communist north in 1945 under the leadership of a 33-year-old radical name kim il sung. >> he was one of the most dominant totalitarian dictators
of the correctthcorrectth 20th . >>si we talk about stories but they're nothing compared to kim ilsun. >> he was born the same day the titanic was sinking in the north atlantic. >> he was a christian. his mother and father took him toas church. >> melanie kicker patrick covered. asia for the "wall street journal". >> kim il sung went to church. >> as a young man. there were many, many christians iny, and pyongyang in the 1930s and 1940s was known as the jerusalem of the east. >> by 1948 he's formally appointed head of the korean workers party. he's the unquestioned leader of north korea. >> over the next decades, the personality established around him rivaled any of the 20th
century. >> they're nothing compared to what kim il sung is. >> in 1948 they started their bizarre ideology. >> it was the national identity. what it basically said is the north korean people are almost a superior race, and they need to determine the future of their country and advance their socialist revolution on their own. we have the tower, a huge white monument with one brick in the monument to symbol every day of the life of kim il song. there were education centers and they sponsored think attention. everything revolved around embedding this ideology. >> in 1944 after decades spent north korean people, kim il sung died. >> there was general grieving when he died. the ledgend he built for
himself had sunk in. >> his successor tried to become god-like himself. >> kim jong il was the youngest son. >> he was said to have been born on the sacred mountain and this is where by korean legend the korean nation began many thousands of years ago. >> the small mountain cabin where it's claimed his mother gavebi birth is today a shrine. >> in fact, he was born in russia when his father was with the russian military. >> by the early 1980s, it seems that they had carved out a really significant niche himself within the power structure. >> kim jong il was a character of fun to a lot of people in the western world because he was short and had that bea bouffantr and wore elevator shoes. he was, in truth, an incredible
dictator. >> it a was often reported thate liked american culture. >> he loved american film. he supposedly had a library of many thousands of films. he once had a south korean actress, his favorite south korean actress, abducted. she was kidnapped from a beach in hong konged and taken to norh korea and required to become basically his actress slave. >> they have a history and trend of kidnapping people. that's how they went about that, with film, and that's how they went about it with my great uncle. >> chicago native mike kim's own family has experienced the cruelty of the north korean regime. y great uncle was a leading engineer. >> that would be your grandmother's brother. >> g my mom and others in my family told me about how during the korean war the north koreans came across the border into south korea and they were looking for people that could
help them build their infrastructure, so they took him into north korea. i often asked my grandmother about the story, and it's very difficult for her to talk about. she never heard from or seen her brother since. >> the country has been a living hell for millions. >> the famine of the late 1990s killed more than a tenth of the population of north korea. >> we estimate two to three million north koreans starved. >> we hear stories of people still starving to death, people eating tree bark to survive, and in the worst case scenario, the stories of cannibalism. >> it's gotten better and worse and better and worse since then, but it's always been terrible. >> and the dynasty continues today with the third kim, kim jong un, the spitting image of his grandfather. coming up, one of his first a littlactsis a shoot to kill ord. >> i think he's terrified of revolt.
it's been almost a year since kim jong un, the third song of kim jong il, took power in north korea after his father's death. >> the other sons were perceived to be losers. this was the one who had the potential to be a leader. >> there are some who look at this as perhaps an opportunity. perhaps he would not be as dictatorial. >> he made some statements that indicate that he's a little hipper than his father was. for example, he allowed his wife to be shown on tv. he appeared with life-sized caricatures of mickey mouse. >>ch he also lifted restrictions on the dress code for women in north korea, allowing them to dress in a more western fashion. >> if i look at his actions in regard to his own people,
there's very little difference between him and his father and his grandfather. one of the first thingsat he did upon succeeding his father was to issue a shoot to kill order to north korean border guards. he said shoot anybody in the back who is trying to escape. >>r they risk everything. they know when they leave north korea that they are risking death. >> in 2001 mike kim left everything behind in chicago and moved to northern china to help north korean defectors. >> i lived at the china-north korea border, living in rural areas, hiding out with the north koreans, sharing rooms with livestock at somear periods. >> he chronicled his experiences in the book escaping north korea. >> for most americans, the term underground railroad has a certain history for us. we think about the 1800s and slavery and the fight to get north of the mason dixon line. how would you describe what is considered the underground railroad from north korea into china? >> it's 6,000 miles.
running from north korea through china, through southeast asia. >> it's a network of safe houses and secret routes. >> there are contacts along this entire route to help and to aid north koreans. >> there are some within your network, some within another network that is willing to help, and you know people in those cities that are willing to risk housing the north koreans. >> mikoue founded crossing borders, a christian organization devoted to helping north korean refugees. this man whom we will call tom is currently the organization's director. >> why are you in disguise? >> i help north korean people in china. it's illegal for anyone to even feed a north korean refugee. >> n and if your identity was revealed. >> i could go to jail and more importantly, the people that are working for us in china could go to jail and north koreans could be executed.
>> we work through the underground church in china. we consider ourselves the first link of the underground railroad. >> when i would first meet a north korean and they would come into our shelter, they would be scared out of their minds. they would sit as far away from me on the other end of the room as possible. >> in 2008 crossing borders helped this man, a 46-year-old north korean defector who fled his country. we've agreed not to reveal his name. >> i had to flee because i helped some south koreans that had been kidnapped by the north korean government, and that is a political crime there. >> just getting out of north has its first hurdle. how do they do that? there's two ways. one is you can pay or bribe a border guard on the north korea and/or the china side. the other way is during the wintern the river freezes over o people walk across the ice. >> i went over in broad
daylight. my daughter, another person, and myself. we went to the river and wash our faces and escaped over the narrowest part. >> this producer interviewed the defector in his small apartment in seoul, south korea. >> how scared were you when you were crossing that border? >> i knew that in order to live, i had to cross the river and get to the other side. seasonas soon as i got over, tht thought that popped in my head is yes, i am alive. >> once you cross from north korea into china it's not like the doors had been flung open for these people. i mean, there are dangers in china, too. china has a zero tolerance policy towards north koreans in china. >> not only the police, but china has as soon a seasons whey announce to their citizens along the borders to report north korean people to them so that they can earn money. >> if you are sent back from china into north korea, what
could happen to you? >> you committed treason by leaving the country, and the punishment isin death. >> the defector's wife and second daughter crossed the border into china almost a year later. we met an elderly woman and she called a local christian church. >> what happens to family members in north korea if it is discovered that one of their family members has managed to escape successfully? >> their families would suffer. >> they face the most brutal torture really right out of world war ii concentration camp types of things. >> after we fled, my brothers and sisters and all our in-laws were brought to the intelligence office and interrogated. in fact, my youngest brother-in-law was beaten so severely that he's practically in a wheelchair at this point. >> with the s help of crossing borders, the defector and his family remained hidden in north china, preparing to escape from that country. in august 2009 they boarded a train heading south with strict
instructions. >> they told us we could not take anything, especially not a cell phone because if you get captured, they will be able to trace all the numbers and track down the people who helped you. >> the family spent a week on the train heading toward laos, but to get out of china they had to cross the border on foot. >> - the china laos board is vey mountainous. it's a tough hike. >> when we arrived at the south korean embassy in laos, they gave us temporary passports. >> from laos, the whole family flew to south korea, the defector's new life having begun. >> when you arrived at the international airport and you checked on korean soil -- stepped on korean soil for the first time, what was going through your mind? >> the minute i arrived, i literally gave a shout of joy. i could final hely breathe. >> it makes it all worth it to see those who have obtained that
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but sadly, the same month they arrived in seoul, his 7-year-old daughter died of an unknown infection. >> as a parent, i always think about all the things i couldn't give her, and that weighs heavily on my mind most. >> sad ending to a long, long journey. >> there's so many mixed emotions for refugees who come outn of north korea to china, to southna korea. >> three generations of the kim family have maintained an iron grip on the isolated society in the north, but it has not been completed inpepenetrate i can't. >> originally the balloons would drop leaflets telling people about what life was like in south korea. >> one of the women i interviewed who was a north korean, her job was to pick up and tie north korean propaganda leaflets that were flown into north korea. i asked her why did you use a stick to pick up these
anti-northy propaganda leaflets. the regime told me if i touched anything from south korea with my hands, they would rot and fall off. >> today the balloons have gone high tech. they're often gps guided and can drop the information that they contain on a mortar gette more . >> new technology is cracking open the hermit kingdom. >> because of the advent of cell phones and the internet that give them windows into the outside world that they never had before. if kim jong un takes them down a path towards the slightest degree of liberation, that may lead to more radical change than he or the political elites in north korea are willing to accept. the north korean power elite and the military have too much invested in the repressure of this society. >> it appears kim jong un has
purged some of his father's generals. this man was often seen along side the new leader and then mysteriously fired from all his duties in jewel o july of 2012. other powerful figures remain. this man seen here at tim jon kg il's funeral is the secretary of the working party. he oversaw the development of northlo korea's nuclear bomb. >> there's been very little indication that he's willing to open the country up. he certainly hasn't stopped the country's nuclear or missile program, and the crackdown on the people internally still continues. >> as long as it does, organizations like crossing borders will be there to help. >> what does your faith mean to what you're doing in china? >> a it has everything to do wih
what we do. we believe that god has created everyone equal, and that god created me just the same as god created a north korean refugee. >> we've been able to change lives and i'd do it all over again. it was very rewarding. >> many koreans look forward to a future where their country is unified. >> absolutely. the vast majority of north koreans wish for that day. coming up, the medical mystery that almost destroyed a famous hollywood actress. >> this left undiagnosed like i've been for years creates havoc, the place i'm in now. >> and this tough as nails hockey player. >> the disease began to really hold of me. ♪
there's word an israeli envoy is in egypt trying to arrange a truce. hamas rockets continue to rain down on the i didn' jewish stat. some of the rockets penetrated into israel, reaching tel aviv. the israeli military answering with air strikes on targets inside gaza. president barack obama saying any truce has to start with an end to the hamas rocket attacks. president obama becoming the first u.s. president to ever visit burma sunday night. air force one landing there about two hours ago. president obama saying the stop is not an endorsement of the government which still holds political prisoners but is rather intended to highlight the progress burma has made towards democracy. the president is set to speak to the media around 1 a.m. eastern and we'll carry those remarks live right here on fox newschannel. i'm marianne rafferty. now back to fox files. what does a famous hollywood
actress, a tough fearless hockey player, and a woman who grew up in the 1930s have in common? they're all in the center of a medical mystery which may affect three million people in the united states. we begin with jennifer esposito's story. >> so you are a new york girl all the way, right? >> i am. born in brooklyn and then raised on staten island. ien wanted to come to the city d start my acting career. >> growing up in a middle class family,e actress jennifer esposito caughts everyone's attention with television shows like spin city, to award-winning films like crash, and her most recent work on cbs' blue blood, but while her hollywood star was rising, she was suffering from an illness that was slowly debilitating her. >> when did you realize or did your family realize that something was wrong? >> when i was a teenager, i had
problems with getting colds and infections, sinus infections all the time, and so much so that i was hospitalized with mono. she would suffer, and as a family, we'd say okay, she's sick again. >>ic suzanne russo is jennifer's older center. >> at a young age she was suffering with stomach issues. she had mood swings. she had anxiety. no answers. >> so how many tests, how many doctors' visits are we talking about, hundreds, thousands? >> i couldn't even name the amount of tests between colonoscopies, barium enemas, everything. >> when you were growing up and jeb as you call her was that center who was saying something is wrong with me, did it take a toll on you and your family? >> yes, and we didn't have an understanding of it because none of the doctors that she had gone toe came up with a proper diagnosis. the money i have spent in trying to make people listen, and i'd
sit with therapists over and over. every timeer they would give me prozac or xanax, and i'd say but that's not it. there's something else going on. >> as her career soared, jennifer still struggled with he her health. it was after 19 long agonizing years a doctor finally gave her an accurate diagnosis. >> i was so ill. i could barely walk in there. i think she really saw something two days after that she called and said you have celiac's disease and you have the highest case i've ever seen, and i do not know how you're existing like this. ice had no idea what she was talking about. >> here's the question. what is celiac disease? >> it is an auto immune disease like to have diabetes or multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid
arthritis. >> fox files sen sat down with e doctor at the forefront of celiac research at the university of maryland. >> their studies show that 1% of the population or one in 133 people in the united states have the disease, yet only a small fraction know they have it. >>on we don't know what makes people sick with diabetes or ms, but undisputably, we have to treat them auto immune process. >> what is gluten. that's all we hear about these days. >> gluten is the most abundant protein in specific grains like wheat, rye, and barley. we're not able to completely digest this protein, and that's why it creates so many problems. >> when you have celiac disease, the gluten has damaged or killed the vili.
they surround the small intestine, and it's what is used to take the nutrients from the food, so when they get damaged or die, it's like your starving yourself and not absorbing nutrientsar and it leads to leay gut which is basically to put it simply is like small holes in the gut where when i eat and when i digest, anything that slips through those holes and goes into the blood stream, my auto immune system feels like it is getting attacked. >> where is the biggest source of gluten in our diet? >> typical source, bread. pasta,ur pizza, beer, cookies, bagels, cakes. these are the obvious source. the other thing that makes the story even more complicated is that gluten is used as a filler. it's a wonderful natural filler that you can mix in prepacked foods. >> the question is what are they using to bind it together?
>> y wheat gluten. >> great stuff unless your body can't tolerate it. >>y the baby didn't have celiac disease? >> besides celiac disease, there are two other forms of gluten reaction. one is a gluten wheat allergy. the other is newer and known as gluten sensitivity. this also causes your immune system to react and create problems. >> there's a blood test, a simple screening test. it's very, very good in identifying thes gluten sensitivity. we don't have a test quite yet. >> do you think that jennifer's case got to that point because the poor thing spent years trying to find a diagnosis? >> eastbound when sh even when she was diagnosed, going gluten free took much longer than expected to go back to a more acceptable life, but her body took a major hit. >> here she is, a successful actress, and in terms of stereotyping, they want to say
she's difficult. why do you need to't eat this? why do you feel faint? the woman's body is collapsing from the inside out. >> that's right. unfortunately she was a very successful young woman in that kind ofn business and people tod her it's all in your mind or you're too picky or you're exaggerating, so on and so forth. >> what are the symptoms? if someone has it, where do you demand your doctor check me for celiac disease. >> the symptoms honestly can go from bloating to diarrhea, constitutioconstipation, to youo stomach issues which is tricky for most people. i say any time that you're feeling insurmountable feeling of exhaustion, there's something going on. if you think that there's a possibility that you have it, you want to be safer rather than sorry. you need to get a proper diagnosis because this left undiagnosed like i've been for years creates havoc, the place
i'm in now. >> today with more people being diagnosed with celiac disease, the market for gluten free products has exploded. >> if you look at the market, you know, north america in 2003, the market was very limited, witwasroughly $100 million. >> in this year alone, it's valid at 4.2 billion dollars. a gluten-free lifestyle isn't cheap. >> i do not leave the health food market with under $100, and i probably go food shopping three or four times a week. >> and that's just for you. me.hat's just for that's just for me. that's fresh fruit and vegetables. i always buy organic, but it's expensive. >> coming up, fox files was there when jennifer' jennifer'se with celiac disease headlines. also, what do this hockey player and banana baby from the nb 193s have in common?
ended his career as a top goal scorer for the detroit red wings. he's also the voice of red wings hockey for fox sports detroit, and he's been a broadcaster for 33 years. >> when were you finally diagnosed with celiac? >> i remember going to many, manyr different doctors and at the time we're talking the early 70s, they would say you've got this, this, or this, or this over here, and i said well, what is this over here? that is we don't know. as it turns out, 20 years later and around 1994, i got diagnosed with celiac. >> going back to when you were younger and in your 20s and yoyou said you had the symptoms, specifically what was going on? >> the life stol lifestyle thats professional athletes in those days wasn't exactly a lifestyle that would be copied by a lot of people or should be. there was cigarettes involved
and, you know, a few beers and you're not supposed to feel real good when you do stuff like that, and as a result, you get used to just feeling poorly. >> what include you in, though, that said this is a little bit oh, sure, i'm a hockey player so we're drinking beer, smoking cigarettes. >> the disease ima began to reay take a hold of me. i broke out on my face very badly. that was the later stages of it, when you get really bad and very sensitive to it. i was sleeping a lot. >> as mickey experienced early on, gluten is also found in many other products besides food. >> with celiac, everything that goes into your mouth and gets ingested, of course, is potentially dangerous, so you have to worry about mouth wash, tooth paste, shampoo, all those things, and i remember six months later standing in the bathroom still getting sick wondering i'm clean as a
whistle. i a grabbed a bottle of lift reason or something, and i went wow. wait a minute. the alcohol or whatever is in it, i mean, it depends on the source and all that. >> just like mickey, jennifer is always careful with what she eats which for her is even more challenging. fox files accompanied jennifer on a visit with her doctor. >> so today jennifer, we're going to go over your other allergies in addition to the celiac gluten in dairy, and i hate to tioell you, but we have almonds, beef, chocolate, egg i don't thinyolks, bananas, cod f, soybean, and chicken in addition to then usually barry, rye, oats and wheat. >>an it's just ridiculous. >> as a result, jennifer is constantly creating her own gluten free recipes. >> look at these babies. >> here's the test. >> oh, my gosh.
>> jennifer's cookies. your chocolate chip cookies. >> y i love these cookies, i swr to god. >> well done. >> thank you. >> should we do the cookie dance? >> i usually do a dance. after i make something i can eat, i'm like whooo. just think about it. you can never have this for the rest of your life. >> never. >> i'd be done. >> in a weird twist of fate, little did jennifer or mickey know they had something in common with this woman. >> i was born in 1936 and i came to the hospital when i was nine months old. >> meet barbara hudson, also known as a banana baby. during thena 1930s she was one of the first reported cases at the university of maryland where they treated children with the mysterious symptoms that we now know as celiac disease. >> do you remember the symptoms, what your mother told you was happening to you? >> yes. evidently i had diarrhea. i was not gaining weight, so
then they told my mother to bring me down to university hospital, to drop me off, don't come see her for six weeks, but i stayed for over ninth months aand the hospital became my hom. >> after you left the hospital, once they released you, what sort of diet did they put you on. >>ou baked bananas and bulgarian buttermilk. >> that's it. >> that's it. my mother would bake three bananas a day and i would eat one banana for breakfast, 1 banana for lunch, and one banana for dinner. >> how long did you stay on the banana diet? >> for about two years, and then the pediatrician said he thought we could add other foods to my diet, and he would add a different food each week, and finally at the age of six i had my first ice cream and milk. >> what did you think? >> i thought it was wonderful.
>> why bananas? >> because they contain all the salt, the nutrients, and some protein that allow you to survive. >> jennifer, mickey, and barbara have each shed light on the mystery of celiac disease. >> i'll tell you. my day has been consumed with bringing information. betweenin a blog, jennifer'sway.org and i have a foundation, everything i could do to bring awareness. >>li i do spend a lot of time talking to people on the phone about it. i get asked to people t speak te about it. i'm more than happy to do that, to help them get through the early stages of this thing, especially younger kids. >> if there's a good gluten free recipe, i pass it on to somebody who has celiac disease so they have something fun to eat as
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>> that is jennifer >> she's playing on the hit cbs show blue blood. ck in september when fox files interviewed jennifer about celiac disease there was turmoil behind the scenes. in october cbs put out this statement. jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. pa unable to she's perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of
absence. she is a wonderfully talented actress and we hope she'll be able to return at some point in the future. jennifer sat down exclusively with fox files to give her side of the o story. >> when blue blood goes on on friday night, twitter goes crazy. someone released pictures of him and a new partner. they don't like that. people don't like change, especially witht donnie and what hadni happened, there was such a surgeen in like where's jackie, actually go jackie was trending one night, not blue bloods, go jackie was trending. cbs the next day, on a saturday at 5, put out a statement similar to that and i saw it and immediately was likeat oh, real? i'm begging you to let me out of myle contract or let me work or pay me what you owe me. >> jennifer then took to twitter with her response. >> cbs knows put me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from
working anywhere else after my doctor saidls you need a reduced schedule due to celiac. >> look. they have a job they need done. i get it. you don't think i can do it in the two or three days i'm offering in that work space of eight days? then i get it. you have to replace me, but that's not what happened. what happened was ugliness. >> tell me the day you collapsed on set. tell me what happened. >> i got in the van and i fell asleep on the way to set and i felt my head spinning, and i got out and took two steps and minnies went tmy knees went to the fence. they brought me to the makeup room. they said i'llro get the medic d we were look there's nothing -- unless you can cure me of celiac disease, this is -- we've been trying to tell you there's no medic right now. they had to carry me into the
car and bring me to the doctor where i went and i was there for seven hours. >> jennifer, where does it stand with you and cbs. >> last week i was on suspension which meant i'm still in contract and not being paid because that's suspension. they legally stop paying and i'm not able to work on any tv show on network. i can do a film or broadway or something on cable that doesn't go on the 10:00 time slot. they cut my contract and it's completely illegal but they know i don't have the money or the means to sue them. i've been in the business of 20 years. there's so many things of injustice that happen in this is about. it's what you sign up for. it is what it is. this, though, is something that