Recent North Korean defectors on how things have changed under Kim Jong Un

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When Kim Jong Un became the leader of North Korea almost six years ago, many North Koreans thought that their lives were going to improve. In six months of interviews in South Korea and Thailand, The Washington Post talked with more than 25 North Koreans from different walks of life who lived under Kim Jong Un and defected. Some highlights:

A young mother (29) who defected in 2014 – “I could see how young he was, and I hoped that maybe things were going to get better.”

A student (37) who defected in 2013 – “I was in my second year at the university when this person was introduced to us as our new leader. I thought it was a joke. Among my closest friends, we were calling him a piece of s—. Everyone thinks this, but you can only say it to your closest friends or to your parents if you know that they agree.”

A drug dealer (46) who defected in 2014 – “I created some kind of fantasy in my mind about Kim Jong Un. Because he was so young, I thought he was going to open North Korea’s doors, but after he took power and I lived three years under him, life became harder.”

This entry was posted in , by Grant Montgomery.

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