September 30, 2020

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 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

Ask a North Korean: how are disabled people treated in North Korea?

"You are looked down on and subject to harsh treatment if you were born with a physical disability"

Tae-il Shim March 12, 2020

Ask a North Korean: what is the healthcare system in the DPRK really like?

"How much money a patient has determines whether they live or die"

Tae-il Shim February 21, 2020

Ask a North Korean: what was life like on the construction sites at Samjiyon?

"It keeps me up at night when I think about those hungry children struggling in the cold"

Tae-il Shim January 20, 2020