December 01, 2022

About the author

Je Son Lee

Je son is an “Ask a North Korean” contributor. She is in her late 20s and left Mt. Paektu in 2011. She can be reached at [email protected]

More articles by 'Je Son Lee'

Leaving family behind in North Korea

Leaving family behind in North Korea

Finally living in a free country, I'm still haunted by the things I can't share with my mom and dad

Leaving family behind in North Korea
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee January 28, 2016
Pay North Korea a visit

Pay North Korea a visit

Make some young Northerners curious and open a few minds

Pay North Korea a visit
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee January 20, 2016
Ringing in a North Korean New Year

Ringing in a North Korean New Year

People maintain family rituals, friendly pastimes on Jan. 1, despite official emphasis on Seollal

Ringing in a North Korean New Year
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee January 14, 2016
What’s brewing: How to make and drink your own beer in N.Korea

What’s brewing: How to make and drink your own beer in N.Korea

Drinking is very popular in the North, so much so that strong alcohol is treated like a 'soft drink'

What’s brewing: How to make and drink your own beer in N.Korea
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee December 10, 2015
Do North Koreans gamble?

Do North Koreans gamble?

North Koreans like to pass the time playing cards, often because there's not much else to do

Do North Koreans gamble?
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee November 25, 2015
A (name) change is in the air in North Korea

A (name) change is in the air in North Korea

Got a name like the Dear Leader's, or one that sounds Japanese? It has to change

A (name) change is in the air in North Korea
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee November 3, 2015
North Koreans don’t hate America

North Koreans don’t hate America

Those who remember the Korean War tell stories very different from the propaganda, and American movies appeal to North Korean sensibilities

North Koreans don’t hate America
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee October 28, 2015
North Koreans’ nuclear pride

North Koreans’ nuclear pride

Knowing that other countries' look down on their poverty, Northerners embrace nuclear capabilities

North Koreans’ nuclear pride
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee October 13, 2015
In North Korea, sometimes the dead come back

In North Korea, sometimes the dead come back

No, not zombies – absence of medical care, standard funeral homes means some are declared dead prematurely

In North Korea, sometimes the dead come back
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee September 22, 2015
Is coffee popular in North Korea?

Is coffee popular in North Korea?

Coffee was once a luxury item in the capital Pyongyang – and even rarer everywhere else in the country

Is coffee popular in North Korea?
Je Son Lee
Je Son Lee September 1, 2015