March 04, 2021

About the author

Tae-il Shim

Tae-il Shim is a pseudonym for a North Korean defector writer. He left the DPRK in 2018, and now resides in South Korea.

More articles by 'Tae-il Shim'

Ask a North Korean: Do North Koreans think their country is the world’s best?

“Nobody honestly thinks North Korea is the best country in the world. If you live in poverty, how could you?”

Tae-il Shim December 10, 2020

Ask a North Korean: Why do some North Koreans defect via Russia and not China?

“North Korean workers are eager to go to Russia. In North Korea, they’d be working all year long for meager wages.”

Tae-il Shim November 23, 2020

Ask a North Korean: What do North Koreans know about Muslims, mosques or Islam?

“Let alone mosques, there aren’t really any churches, monasteries or temples in North Korea.”

Tae-il Shim November 13, 2020

Ask a North Korean: Do rich and poor North Koreans hate each other?

"Those with money view those without it as non-human ... They work those beneath them like slaves."

Tae-il Shim August 26, 2020

Ask a North Korean: how do defectors keep contact with relatives in the North?

"North Korea is sealed off from the rest of the world, but defectors are able to make contact"

Tae-il Shim July 15, 2020

Ask a North Korean: do you support leaflet launches into North Korea?

"In my personal opinion, these leaflet launches into North Korea should be encouraged and widely carried out"

Tae-il Shim June 23, 2020

Ask a North Korean: how does North Korea’s secret police eavesdrop on citizens?

"Thoughts that go against the government may seem trivial, but monitoring them is an important task"

Tae-il Shim June 3, 2020

Ask a North Korean: how do you feel about the election of defector Thae Yong-ho?

"I see Thae's election as being of great significance in establishing all North Korean defectors in South Korea"

Tae-il Shim May 8, 2020

Ask a North Korean: how does sex education differ between North and South Korea?

"It breaks my heart when I think of how women in North Korea... don't receive even the most basic sex education"

Tae-il Shim April 22, 2020

Ask a North Korean: how do people keep warm during harsh North Korean winters?

"From October to April, Hyesanites struggle for survival"

Tae-il Shim March 24, 2020
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