Life in 70-years-old North Korea ‘is like living in Orwell’s 1984’, says escapee

North Korea is preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary while the majority of its population faces multiple challenges every day, including food shortages and human rights violations. (Photo: ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
As North Korea prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary this weekend with a military parade and “Mass Games”, its population lives in perpetual war (the 1953 Korean War has never officially ended), under government surveillance and with a propaganda machine controlled by the national leader’s personality cult. The reality is . . . Read More

North Korean explains growing up under Kim dynasty, and how his perception of Christianity changed

North Korean explains growing up under Kim dynasty, and how his perception of Christianity changed
Every year, for the birthdays of North Korea’s Kim dynasty founder, Kim Il-sung, and his son and successor, Kim Jong-il, John Choi* would receive a large pack of sweets from his parents. So would all his primary-school peers. However, before unpacking his present, John was told to follow the ritual . . . Read More

‘Like a jail without bars’: what it’s like working in China with women refugees from North Korea

‘Like a jail without bars’: what it’s like working in China with women refugees from North Korea
Hwa-Young* works in China with women who fled North Korea or were abducted by people traffickers and taken across the border. Many of the women are tempted to leave behind a miserable life when they are told there are jobs waiting for them in China. But often they are sold . . . Read More