March 02, 2024

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sersong Han

Sersong Han was born and raised in Pyongyang before defecting to South Korea in 2014.

Ask A North Korean

Settling in Seoul: The movies and books that influenced a North Korean escapee

The Kim regime heavily restricts artists, but South Korean culture shines a light on what the Koreas share in common

Sersong HanJuly 21, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: How has DPRK society progressed over the years?

Private markets have introduced new perspectives, but the dictatorship means few place much stock on social progress

Sersong HanJune 15, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Settling in Seoul: What was your first year like after reaching South Korea?

Some adjust faster than others to a capitalist lifestyle, even when it causes tensions with those closest to us

Sersong HanApril 7, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Settling in Seoul: A North Korean defector discovers the concept of hobbies

DPRK society insists individuals live for collective, but people in the South can explore their own interests

Sersong HanMarch 3, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: What was it like to listen to K-pop for the first time?

People risk their lives to enjoy foreign music that explores love, memories and other themes absent from official songs

Sersong HanFebruary 13, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: How do people in the DPRK express individuality?

Fashion police hammer down the nail that sticks out, but people still find subtle ways to display their own style

Sersong HanJanuary 20, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: What are funerals like in the DPRK?

Most funeral services take place in people’s homes and differ in other ways from ceremonies in the South

Sersong HanDecember 30, 2022
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: What do you miss about living in North Korea?

Atomization in South Korea makes it difficult to express one's feelings, whereas people in the DPRK say what they think

Sersong HanNovember 25, 2022
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: What it’s like to be a boxer in the North Korean military

DPRK regards military athletes as akin to combatants in war, and the results can be fatal

Sersong HanSeptember 22, 2022
Ask A North Korean

Ask a North Korean: What is it like to defect across the Northern Limit Line?

One of the few defectors to escape by sea tells the story of how he and his father pulled it off

Sersong HanAugust 19, 2022