Gareth Morgan famously rode his motorcycle through the Potemkin villages of NOrth Korea, proclaiming the whole country to be enlightened and not as reported outside of the country.
The man is an idiot. There is ample evidence of the lack of freedom and deprivations suffered by the people of North Korea under the Kim regime.
I lived in North Korea for the first 15 years of my life, believing Kim Jong-il was a god. I never doubted it because I didn’t know anything else. I could not even imagine life outside of the regime.
It was like living in hell. There were constant power outages, so everything was dark. There was no transportation â€“ everyone had to walk everywhere. It was very dirty and no one could eat anything.
It was not the right conditions for human life, but you couldn’t think about it, let alone complain about it. Even though you were suffering, you had to worship the regime every day.
I had to be careful of my thoughts because I believed Kim Jong-il could read my mind. Every couple of days someone would disappear. A classmate’s mother was punished in a public execution that I was made to attend. I had no choice â€“ there were spies in the neighbourhood.
My father worked for the government, so for a while things were relatively OK for me compared with some others in North Korea. But my father was accused of doing something wrong and jailed for three years. He being guilty made me guilty too, so whatever future I had in North Korea completely disappeared. I could no longer go to university, and my family was forced to move out of PyongyangÂ to the countryside on the border close to China.
After a few years, my father became very sick with cancer and he came out of jail for treatment. During this time, we decided to leave North Korea.
We had to cross a frozen river in the middle of winter to sneak across the border into China. I was very scared â€“ not of being caught but of being shot. If they see someone escaping, they don’t ask, they just shoot them.Â Read more »