Two North Korean films appear likely to secure a release in South Korean theaters in the second half of this year, following the groundbreaking release of Shin Sang-okk's Pulgasari in Summer 2000.

Despite the almost total lack of interest on the part of South Korean audiences during last year's one-week run of Pulgasari, preparations are now underway to bring Souls Protest, completed in late 2000, to the South.

A story set in the aftermath of World War II in which Japanese imperialists destroy a ship filled with Koreans returning to their homeland, Souls Protest has already screened at the 2001 Hong Kong and Moscow International Film Festivals.

Also reportedly under consideration for a release is a documentary (a popular genre in the Communist state) titled Animal Mating.

South Korea has previously expressed its intention to screen additional North Korean films in theaters or at the Pusan International Film Festival, but logistical troubles and a recent cooling of relations between the two countries have stood in the way. For its part, North Korea occasionally requests (and is provided with) copies of recent films or TV dramas for private screenings among the political elite.