BEIJING -- A British film crew says it has found the last American defector still living in North Korea, an Army private who crossed over to the Stalinist state in 1962 and says he is glad he did.
Private James Dresnok lives in the capital, Pyongyang, and he says he likes his ''simple life," said filmmaker Nicholas Bonner, who met him there in May and plans to make a documentary about him.
The US military said Dresnok, from Richmond, left the Army in August 1962 at age 21.
The film crew met with Dresnok and Charles Jenkins, an accused US Army deserter from North Carolina who has since left North Korea for Japan to be reunited with his family.
''We were under the supervision of the North Korean military," Dresnok told the filmmakers, according to their news release. ''They took good care of us, and they requested us to teach English to military personnel."
Dresnok and Jenkins told the filmmakers two other American servicemen died in North Korea of natural causes -- Private Larry A. Abshier of Illinois, who the US military says went missing in May 1962 at age 19, and Corporal Jerry W. Parrish of Kentucky, who is accused of deserting in December 1963 at age 19.
Bonner and fellow filmmaker Daniel Gordon plan to film interviews with Dresnok in September, following an agreement with the North Korean government. They have previously made two films in the country, including a documentary about North Korea's soccer team at the 1966 World Cup that won several international awards.
Dresnok remains ''shrouded in the most mystery," Bonner said.
''I did not want to stay in DPRK at first," Dresnok told the film crew, referring to North Korea by the initials of its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. ''I wanted to go to Russia."
''Having crossed, after a few months, I began thinking it over and decided to remain," he is quoted as saying.
''I'm glad I did, because about 10 years ago, Russia changed from socialism to capitalism. If I was in Russia right now, I would be out of work," he said. ''It would be the same if I returned to America. I find it more convenient to live among peaceful people, living a simple life."
He said the US military taught its soldiers that North Koreans were ''evil communists," but he never believed that depiction. ''They are human here," he said. ''Of course, there is an ideological difference, but that is the only difference."