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Editor’s note: The following anonymous essay is written by an official who lived in North Korea for several years. It’s an edited personal account responding to the question, “What’s it like to live in the DPRK and constantly be monitored — and what are the psychological impacts of that?”
Living in North Korea for an extended period of time is lonely, and it’s not always easy to consistently “appreciate” the rare experience, nor keep up an upbeat attitude.