North Korean Testimonies

Search

Escaping the Paradise on Earth (3)

 Escaping the Paradise on Earth (3) Mr. Lee Tae-Kyoung President of Association of Victims of Forced Repatriation to North Korea Escaped from North Korea in 2007 And Entered South Korea in 2009 Illustration by Mr. Ahn Choong-kook, Student at Hongik University College of Fine Arts Among the historical quagmire between the North Korean government, the Japanese government, the Japanese Red Cross, the South Korean government, and Chongryon, the ethnic Koreans living in Japan had no choice but to go back to North Korea. Tae-Gyung Lee was also one of the ethnic Koreans who was born and raised in Japan and repatriat...

Escaping the Paradise on Earth (2)

Escaping the Paradise on Earth (2) Mr. Lee Tae-Kyoung President of Association of Victims of Forced Repatriation to North Korea Escaped from North Korea in 2007 And Entered South Korea in 2009 Illustration by Mr. Ahn Choong-kook, Student at Hongik University College of Fine Arts Among the historical quagmire between the North Korean government, the Japanese government, the Japanese Red Cross, the South Korean government, and Chongryon, the ethnic Koreans living in Japan had no choice but to go back to North Korea. Tae-Gyung Lee was also one of the ethnic Koreans who was born and raised in Japan and repa...

Escaping the Paradise on Earth (1)

Escaping the Paradise on Earth (1) Mr. Lee Tae-Kyoung President of Association of Victims of Forced Repatriation to North Korea Escaped from North Korea in 2007 And Entered South Korea in 2009 Illustration by Mr. Ahn Choong-kook, Student at Hongik University College of Fine Arts Among the historical quagmire between the North Korean government, the Japanese government, the Japanese Red Cross, the South Korean government, and Chongryon, the ethnic Koreans living in Japan had no choice but to go back to North Korea. Tae-Gyung Lee was also one of the ethnic Koreans who was born and raised in Japan and repa...

Crossing the Perilous Border

Crossing the Perilous Border Testimony of a young defector who passed through the valley of the shadow of death Yosep BAEK Escaped North Korea in 2003 Entered South Korea in 2008 I was born in Hoeyang, Gangwon Province in January, 1984. From year 1998, I lived in Shinuiju and I left North Korea in late June, 2003. I then wandered around in China and Russia for years. I finally arrived in South Korea in October, 2008 and now I’m working as a public relations director at the ‘Alliance of Young North Korean Defectors’. Reasons for Escaping North Korea I thought about South Korea a lot...

The Life I Experienced in North Korea

The Life I Experienced in North KoreaDevelopment of market activities in North Korea KIM Yun-HeeEscaped from North Korea in 2007Entered South Korea in 2008  Markets in North Korea The size of markets in North Korea is not large. They are about 150 pyeong (500m2). There is a standard 60cm frontage that is set out and given to each person who is selling things. Restricted to that space, people sell agricultural products, fish and good imported from China, although depending on what they sell there is an assigned rent fee for the market spaces. You have to pay for the space you are renting. Market patrols collect rent...

North Korea’s Control over its People and the People’s Safety Agency

North Korea’s Control over its People and the People’s Safety AgencyTestimony of a former officer of the People’s Safety Agency KIM Young-CheolFormer officer, People’s Safety Agency in North KoreaEscaped from North Korea and Entered South Korea in February 2008  I earned two degrees in North Korea. I first studied in North Korea’s technical college from 1986 to 1992. After I graduated, I started working in the Inspection Bureau of the People’s Safety Agency (PSA) as so-called elite. I was a lieutenant in the PSA. Later, I studied in the Political College of PSA. I became a major and worked as the Chief of Inspectio...

Crossing the Perilous Border

Crossing the Perilous BorderTestimony of a young defector who passed through the valley of the shadow of death Yosep BAEKEscaped North Korea in 2003Entered South Korea in 2008  I was born in Hoeyang, Gangwon Province in January, 1984. From year 1998, I lived in Shinuiju and I left North Korea in late June, 2003. I then wandered around in China and Russia for years. I finally arrived in South Korea in October, 2008 and now I’m working as a public relations director at the ‘Alliance of Young North Korean Defectors’. Reasons for Escaping North Korea I thought about South Korea a lot when I lived in Shinuiju because I ...

The Punishment of Allegiance (2)

The Punishment of Allegiance (2) Young-Gul CHANG (pseudonym)Escaped from North Korea 2008Entered South Korea 2009  Limited Access to Information and Knowledge In North Korea there are no television channels other than the Pyongyang Channel. The frequencies of all radios are not adjustable, so the Pyongyang Broadcasting Station is the only radio channel that people can listen to. No person can privately own a transistor radio; if one does, one will be treated as a spy. People are not allowed to have personal computers or use the Internet. Cell phones have been available since last year, but only party cadres and eli...

A Life Sold for 2 Million Yuan

A Life Sold for 2 Million Yuan Yonglim CHOIBorn in 1992,Escaped from North Korea 2009,Entered South Korea 2011  Poverty and Disease I was born in 1992 in Hyesan City. I was the first child of my father, who works at the 516 construction company, and my mother from South Hamgyong Province. I have one younger sister, and my family still remains in the North. Our family was very poor, so I never received proper education nor do I have any memories of a full stomach. Since I was young, instead of going to school, I would go to the mountains to gather firewood or sell fruit and herbs with my mother. In 2005, when I was ...

The Punishment of Allegiance (1)

The Punishment of Allegiance (1) Young-Gul CHANG (pseudonym)Escaped from North Korea 2008Entered South Korea 2009 It was only three years ago that I arrived in South Korea and realized that, “This is truly the type of world in which humans should live.” Until then, I had only lived under a socialist system and was taught that it was the best and most advanced type of government, while democratic governments like that in the United States were inferior. I will explain how my beliefs have changed; I will also explain how I came to the Republic of Korea, and how I started my life as a proud South Korean c...

The Life of an Artist in North Korea

The Life of an Artist in North Korea KIM HunEscaped from North Korea in 2010Entered South Korea in 2010  I was a Class 1 Vocalist and Vice Dean of Arts in the Propaganda and Agitation Department before I came to South Korea in 2010. At the age of 16, I won first place in the All-Nation Singing Contest, and entered the world of the arts by joining the South Hamgyeong Provincial Band of Song and Dance as the youngest member in history. Then, my potential being highly esteemed, I was assigned to the Central Party’s Jechang Theater, and began as a section chief in the arts department before eventually becoming Vice Dea...

Twenty-Eight Years of My life in Political Prisoner Camp (Gwalliso) No. 18

Twenty-Eight Years of My life in Political Prisoner Camp (Gwalliso) No. 18 KIM Hye SookEscaped from North Korea in 2009Entered South Korea in 2009  Life and family in the GwallisoIn 1970, while I was still living in Pyongyang, my parents were taken to a Political Prisoners Camp(hereinafter, Gwalliso) for reasons unknown to me. Five years later, when I was thirteen, I was also taken from my grandmother’s house to Gwalliso No. 18, in South Pyongan province(In Bongchang village of Bukchang county of South Pyongan province.) where I would spend the next twenty-eight years of my life. My aunt took me to Gwalliso No. 18....