North Korean official is a devoted husband

Hey all.

This is a story when I had a interview at the conference between representative of youth from North Korea and South Korea.

To be honest, I wasn’t interested in this conference at all and all I was thinking was to go home.But looking back at the time, I must be at such a rare situation. Idiot never should become a journalist, really…

So, although I remember nothing, but the conversation I had with North Korean official left an impression. He is a scholar graduate and was taking charge of the clerical work at a certain treaty with the Japanese government. With his high educated back ground and being such a gentleman made me think that elites are no differentiated by any cultures and or countries.

Although, this elite guy loves to mention about his wife during the conversation, and which was a little bit too much for me. I didn’t even imagine that a guy such elite like him, appealing himself as a devoted husband to an ordinary journalist like me. His wife must be proud of him, having an elite husband who loves his wife very much that cannot even stop mentioning her. I literally switched to the plan of praising his wife, before my stupid bit leaks out. Saying something like “You must be the happiest one! Your loving wife is waiting for you at home” blah blah blah…

Then, he who was feeling shy suddenly turned to a serious look and has cut back as follows.

 

 

“Why are women staying at home?? Doing what??”

 

Well, since it’s a socialistic country and two-income family is very popular, so that there is no concept of “full-time housewife” with them. From that in mind, nothing wrong in his reaction thought it actually surprised me…It is very interesting that having a conversation with North Korean people because we never be able to read the climax of the conversation.

Although, I don’t think that a female status is equivalent to a male in social customs. For example, the high career guide who I’ve mentioned before also said with anger feeling “I’m the only one who do the housekeeping job!!” Well, this isn’t only happening in North Korea.

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This is a picture of young people from North and South Korea, having fun at Karaoke. Please forgive me, I know you can’t see anything. It is natural to think that the representative of South Korea is marked by the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency. (But at the time, they were coming lawfully under political power of those days, so I think anything shouldn’t be happened to them) This is incredible scene to believe now. By the way, one of the girl from South Korean representative who is the full-specification elite and has promised future, was debating saying “it is better to unify in general situation” I guess, she couldn’t act counter to the society and might be working at SAMSUNG like a corporate slave.

Tears of an ex-serviceman

jinmingun

They are very openhearted.

 

Hi all.

There is one of an ex-military officer of North Korean army that I always visit during my stay in North Korea.

He, who worked his way up to the position in countryside and moved to Pyongyang, used to belong to one of those “hard-faced” corps that sings “Long live” behind general officer, medals lined up on his chest.

This is a story of this old guy meets his son.

At that time, he; the old guy was already in bed without a toe to the floor for a while but he couldn’t afford to buy a wheel chair for himself. He was in a condition that he froze for at least 5 minutes when his son took him out from the bed without taking care of his father.

Looking at him being like that, I couldn’t stop myself offering my back to him, “Please ride on my back!”. Soon as I offered, his son stopped me ” No! Just leave him” He took my hand and walked away without looking back.

We arrived at the restaurant, left the old guy alone on the street.
He arrived after 30 minutes or so, he was almost faint over on the floor.
But then his son yelled at him…

“You are late! How long you think you’re taking to get here!”

Aww…. I thought North Korea is the country of the Confucianism.
Well, he wasn’t treating his father cruelly and it was more like a comedian way, so that I could still keep my smile on my face.

When all of us got together, the son ordered more than enough dishes for all of us to finish them up.
It was probably a special dinner for them. Although both the old guy and his son were bolting down their bowl of noodles, which then made me worry whether they eat properly every day?

All of a sudden, the old guy who concentrated single-mindedly eating his noodles stopped his hands and was choked with tears.

“I wanna see my brothers in South Korea…”

He was crying, like I could even see his tears dropping down into his bowl.

He was separated from his family during the Korean War, since then he couldn’t even make a contact with his family and left apart.
There is more than twenty thousand of who are separated from their family and those separated families are quite common in North Korea.

Although I was aware of this state of affairs, I wept in sympathy as felt pity by seeing this exhausted old guy who used to be a “hard-faced”.

But with the heartless sentence from his son had smashed the quiet mood by saying

“Hey, stop talking this kinda thing!”(Laughed)

That really made me uncomfortable for staying in between them, what I only could do was to hand in some Japanese medicines to the old guy.

The meal we had became the last day of seeing the old guy, as he passed away a while later.
I can’t stop thinking that might be because of those medicines that I gave him.

What I saw wasn’t something from an image of the North Korean army that we usually see in media, but real human being.

On the day of my return, the son appeared with this colourful and very showy paper fan made with peacock blade. Obviously he was attracting attention from around.
To be honest, I wanted to pretend that I’m just a stranger from him, though it didn’t happened in this small society in Pyongyang. He handed me in the fan “Take this! It’s a souvenir!”, I looked at the back of the fan, and it says “to the commemoration of your visit, Ms.Green”.
This was a completely annoying souvenir., but this gift was very “him”.
I had the fan for a while though it has this weird aura of a curse from it so I throw that away in the end but I actually regret it now.

Street musicians playing a mysterious chord progression

Hi all,

Take a look at the picture below.

musician
A guy with a guitar, and a guy singing.
These guys are spies, and they are singing in the city during lunch break.
It’s just another day in North Korea.

But then I noticed something odd.

The songs they were playing, didn’t sound like the traditional North Korean songs (aka: NK-POPS) and they were more like J-POP music.

I don’t know much about music, but the chord progression was somewhat like a song called “Another Story” from the Japanese band “Mr.Children”. The melody was very smooth.

It’s obvious that people can’t sing J-POP and K-POP songs in the street.
I asked them about the songs and they told me they wrote it by themselves, and that the lyrics were about there loyalty to Kim Jong-il.

As you know, NK-POP is like this?

At that time, I thought maybe songs and melodies created by the National band as an “official popular song”, were pretty different from the songs that ordinary people made for themselves.

This is more than ten years ago.

I’ve talked about this here too.

According to the people living there, prevailing K-POP and Korean culture will be punished.
How? Don’t even think about it.

This was when things were tense South Korea during Rhee Myonbaku”s presidency, but things should have not changed.

I’m not sure with the penalty of buying a South Korean drama, but I heard that the residents were punished just for watching it.

If you are planning to go on a trip to North Korea, make sure you don’t do anything unnecessary.

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