What North Koreans Think Of South Korea | ASIAN BOSS
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What North Koreans Think Of South Korea | ASIAN BOSS

Hey guys, it’s Steve
from Asian Boss. Recently, we had a chance to interview a couple of North Korean defectors. In the previous video, they shared their thoughts on what’s happening in North Korea so you should watch that video first if you haven’t already. In this video, you’re going to hear how their lives have changed since arriving in South Korea and how they feel about South Korean society in general. Let’s get to it. How long has it been since you arrived in South Korea? It’s been 9 years. -It’s been 10 years.
– Right. Could you explain how you
came to settle in South Korea? How did you get here? -From China, I mean.
-Right. So I was in China for about 4 years. The truth is, if China hadn’t tried to repatriate us back to North Korea, we would’ve stayed. But when China hosted the
2008 Olympics, they began mass deportation of
North Korean defectors. During the Beijing Olympics,
the Chinese government ordered defectors to be captured and
sent back to North Korea. So it was too dangerous for us
to stay in China. When the authorities started
searching houses, my mom and I were cornered like rats. We could feel them getting closer. We were running out of places to hide. If we were going to die either way,
we thought we might as well die
searching for freedom. Let’s at least give it a shot. So how do you get to South Korea? I came via Mongolia. I understand that South Korea and Mongolia had an unofficial agreement at the time. Rather than repatriating defectors
back to North Korea, Mongolia would send them to
South Korea in exchange for natural resources like trees
needed for the deserts. My mom and I… we had to go through China,
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to get to South Korea. So how did you feel when you
touched down at Incheon Airport? When I arrived at Incheon Airport, I was just blown away. It was like heaven. There were so many lights,
which were so pretty. I felt as though I travelled through time, went past 40 years and arrived in the future. If someone asked me when was
the happiest moment in my life, it’d be that moment on
February 8, 2006. Because when I was living
in China as a defector, my day would start like this. As soon as I wake up, I’d check if I was still
in the same room or if I was in prison. That daily routine lasted for 4 years. Even to this day, whenever
I hear the sound of sirens, whether it’d be from a fire truck,
ambulance or police car, I get goose bumps and start
breaking into a cold sweat. Anyway… that’s what my life was like. So as the plane was arriving at the airport, I heard the announcement: “We’ll soon be arriving so
please fasten your seatbelt.” When I heard the announcement… I still can’t explain how I felt at the time, a lot of mixed emotions… I felt something burning
inside of me and my face got flushed and
my eyes got teary. When I looked around to see
if that was just me… at the time, there were all 8 defectors… and we were all crying. So was there anyone there
waiting for you guys? Yes, people from the National
Intelligence Service (NIS). Because they knew
you were coming? Yes, they came out to greet us. There was an interesting episode. Before I boarded the plane
from Mongolia I was told by an NIS agent that for safety, when the plane
arrives in South Korea, we should remain seated even when the flight attendants
tell us to get off the plane. So we just sat there while
everyone else got off. It was just the 8 of us refusing to get off when the
flight attendants kept asking… until someone from the NIS
came to pick us up. So when the agent finally showed up… actually, I was very touched because as soon as he saw us, he said: “I sincerely welcome to South Korea.” And I just started crying. Even now I get emotional just thinking about it. very emotional… Why were they nice to me? I was born in North Korea and
stayed loyal to the country but got treated like a criminal. I got abandoned my China because I wasn’t their citizen, But the country that was
supposed to be my enemy welcomed me with open arms… I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know those words
would touch me so much. Anyway, we got into a car and
when I looked outside, as opposed to seeing all
the Chinese street signs which I couldn’t read and so was
always afraid of being caught, all I could see and hear was Korean. It was literally heaven and I was so happy. Afterwards, we wend into the NIS to
verify our defector status, which took about 1 month. The NIS had to make sure we
weren’t North Korean spies. -How do they do that?
– Well… They put you on lie detectors to monitor your heart rate in case you lie. So things like that. Also, Chinese people
of Korean descent know that North Koreans
can get a lot of help here so they sometimes pretend
to be North Koreans and try to get money from the
South Korean government. So they also test if you are
Chinese-Korean or North Korean. After that, you get transferred to
an institution called “Hanawon”. Like temporary housing? Yes, you live there but you are not allowed to go outside. You just get educated on how
South Korea works. In Hanawon, they… teach you how to use the
remote, TV and elevators etc because we don’t know anything. -Like the basics.
-Right. So we get trained for about 3 months. They even teach you how to ride a bus. But I slept through the training on to ride a bus. Yeah, I fell asleep. So when I finally got out to join society, I totally didn’t know how to ride a bus. I figured I could just… copy what people in
front of me were doing. So I went to a bus stop, and saw a man and a woman
lining up in front of me. When a bus arrived, the man got on and tapped
his butt onto the machine. He literally tapped his butt. I was like “In Korea, all guys
have to do is tap their butts!” You didn’t realize his bus
card was on the back pocket. Next, the woman tapped her
handbag onto the machine. “Right, so men tap their butts to ride a bus and women just have to tap their handbags.” Because I was obviously a girl, I just took off my backpack and tapped it. But whereas I could hear a
sound for the people before me, it didn’t make any sound for me, which really impressed
me once again. “How could they tell I was from
North Korea and not make a sound?” That’s what I thought. Then I thought…maybe I had to tap my butt like the man did. But I was too short to tap
my butt on the machine. -You couldn’t reach it?
-Not with my butt. So I started jumping
trying to tap my butt, and the bus driver was like,
“what are you doing?” I was like,
“how do I get to this place?” “I can’t make any sound.” The driver then told me
not to worry about it so I got a free bus ride. I was very embarrassed so after that incident,
I studied about bus cards and figured out how to ride a bus and subway. So after you get out of Hanawon,
where do you go? You just join society. If you are a student, you go to school. What about housing? The government gives you a
place for 5 years, rent free. -Right. – They give you one. After 5 years, you have to go somewhere else… or you could stay and start paying rent. While you were living in South Korea, what did you find most fascinating
or positive about South Korea? First, they use a lot of English words. So even if they were speaking in
Korean, I couldn’t understand them. For example, when I was in college… because it was my dream
to be a college student, I really wanted to study hard. But my professor would
say things like: “This semester, a presentation will be
done in a ‘team’ that ‘networking’ is a necessary
part of ‘team play’, and that there has to be a good ‘communication’.” I was like, “what did you say?” Best thing about South Korea? Really…first of all, you can enjoy freedom! I can say whatever I want and the government doesn’t care. Can’t you just say things in North Korea? No way! In North Korea, you should add a little like
“General Kim Jong-il”. Whoever says “Kim Jong-il”
just by his name would just disappear the next day. So for example, if you say
“Kim Jong Un is fat!” What happens to you? You will be gone. -They take you away.
-Seriously? Even if you are with friends,
you can’t say things like that. So when people find out that
you are North Korean, maybe from your accent, do they treat you differently? Yeah, I’d say it’s a little different because South Koreans have
certain stereotypes about Chinese-Koreans
and North Koreans. What kind of stereotypes? They just assume that you are poor and look down on you. Especially when you go in
for a job interview and once they find out that
you’re North Korean… it’s like… “if you want to work in this company try not to reveal that
you are from North Korea.” But I’m not ashamed of
being North Korean. Actually, I feel quite proud to have through all the hardships
to come to South Korea. but since South Koreans
could treat you differently, I think that’s why companies don’t want me to say where I’m from, which makes me really sad. Is North Korea better than
South Korea in any aspects? Like, this one thing is better in North Korea. Definitely the environment. The air is very clean. Especially at night, you can see so many stars in the sky… including the Milky Way. What about the people aspect? What’s the difference between
North and South Koreans? That’s probably what I
struggled with the most at first… People are very cold and unapproachable. In Seoul, you don’t even know who lives next door. In North Korea, you know everyone in your neighborhood, like their names, their family members, how old they are, what they do for a living, etc. That’s how much you know and everyone is very close. In that expect… you could say that North Korea is slightly better. South Koreans are obviously much wealthier. Right. But do they look happier than North Koreans to you? Not necessarily. In my opinion, South Koreans are so busy with work that they don’t seem very happy. All they do is work. To buy nice houses and cars, they always chase money
rather than happiness. Thant’s interesting. So you could be happier even
when you are “poor”? Even when I was starving in
North Korea, I was happy. In South Korea, even high school students
are stressed because of studying. For example, they have private tutoring from 7am. go to school and stay there till 7pm, then attend another private tutoring
institution until 11pm everyday. That can be stressful. But in North Korea, they tell you to go outside
and play after school. You only study in school. I actually feel sorry for them. -You mean South Koreans?
-Yes. Because… they are so busy competing
with everyone that they lose out on the
most important things like happiness, love and relationships, etc. They only focus on materialistic things. One of my most memorable
experiences in South Korea was when I was in college. A professor gave us an assignment to say “thank you, I love you”
to our parents and write about the parents’ reactions and how we felt about their reactions. I was like,
“How is this even an assignment?” I thought it was some practical joke. But most students were freaking out like “How am I
supposed to do that!” So I figured it was difficult for them. But in my 3rd year of college I found myself contemplating suicide. -Why? -Because… as a North Korean, I just couldn’t see how I could
compete with South Koreans to get ahead in life. I also suffer from hemophilia so when I bleed, it doesn’t stop. Could someone sick like me
survive in South Korean society? No, I didn’t think I could. So I decided to kill myself but at that moment, I felt a sense of regret. Other than the moment of
arriving at Incheon Airport, getting my social security
and student cards, I had no other happy memories. “I finally have freedom
after risking my life, but why is my life so miserable?” I asked myself that question and that’s when I realized that I was pursuing the same materialistic
goals as my South Korean friends. Regrettably, South Korea has the highest suicide rate in
the world for 12 years in a row. When I first came to South Korea, I laughed at those that committed suicide but I finally understood their pain. I can see it from both perspectives now. So for the rest of my life, I’m going to do all I can to help reduce
the suicide rate in South Korea. You have a very inspiring vision, which I’m sure you will execute well. But have you ever been falsely accused of anything? Like being a North Korean spy? Have you seen any of those instances? Actually, my close friend’s mom
got accused of being a spy and was investigated by the NIS. My friend was very angry about it. I remember him drinking a lot and expressing disappointment
towards South Korean society. Another example is… when a North Korean woman met with
future in-laws for the first time, they asked her if she was a spy. Also, because there are instances of
human trafficking of defectors in China, they asked if she had been previously married or had an illegitimate child, which was very humiliating
and hurtful to the woman. But they just said that to her face. I can understand why they asked, but the problem here is the stereotypes. Not all North Koreans are spies. This could also affect their employment. So we always have to be careful
and watch what we say and do. Why is that? Because if you say or do one wrong thing, people will say it’s because you’re North Korean. So it’ll be difficult for people to
fully embrace defectors? I don’t think it will ever be 100%. Maybe to some extent. How would North Koreans
feel about reunification? Ever since the Kim Il-Sung administration, North Koreans have always been taught that we are one Korea. Part of that was obviously politically-motivated brainwashing but still, we were always taught the two
Koreas need to be reunified. But the reason for the reunification… because we were told South
Korea was full of homeless people. -So North Korea had to rescue them.
-Right. What about now? Because people must be aware how wealthy South Korea is, Despite that, would North Koreans still want reunification? Probably not the ones in charge because they wouldn’t want
to be held accountable for the crimes they committed. They know that. And ordinary citizens? Ordinary North Koreans have nothing to lose. So they’d want reunification because life is too tough right now. Do you personally want reunification? Of course I do. The reason why I started a
Youtube channel in South Korea was to help speed up the
process of reunification. That’s why. How realistic is reunification though? The thing about reunification is… it will only work if both North
and South Koreans see eye to eye. Then how do you think South
Koreans feel about reunification? I had a little kid once asked me:
“What is renunciation?” So I had explain to him what it is. When I asked him why he didn’t know about it, he said his parents never taught him what it was. He just had no basic idea even though he was in elementary school. Unless South Koreans are
properly educated on reunification, my guess is most of them wouldn’t care. I’m a defector so of course I want
reunification more than anyone. Because I want to visit home. That said, I don’t think the time is right. -Why do you say that?
-Because… South Korea is too uninformed about North Korea. South Korea’s perception of North Korea is stuck in late 90s to early 2000s. Some high school and
college students are still fascinated to see me and ask me if we use the same language. That’s how little education
there is about reunification. Even if North Koreans are brainwashed, at least they are constantly
being taught about reunification. There are over 30,000 North Korean
defectors in South Korea right now. Yet, people know nothing about North Koreans nor do they try to mix with them. Right now, North Koreans have such
a good impression of South Korea and as soon as we reunify,
they will come to South Korea. When they do, we can
expect a serious clash and the social conflict will exceed anything we can imagine. I think that will create serious
economic and cultural issues to the point Korea could fall. This is such a serious issue and
for that reason, I’m against it until people’s mindsets change first. We hope that this video helped you become
better informed about North Korea and we’d like to ask you to do whatever you can to raise awareness on this issue. We also had a change to collaborate
with a YouTube channel “Digitalsoju TV” to make a more light-hearted video about North Koreans trying
American BBQ for the first time so make sure you check out their video as well. Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “What North Koreans Think Of South Korea | ASIAN BOSS

  1. WOW, I learned a lot. I'm glad I watch this. Thanks for sharing their stories.
    edit: May I add, that man being interviewed is smart.

  2. 한국 학생들 아침에 일어나서 학원 가고 학교 가고 다시 학원가고 그러는 애는 극히 일부임. 얘네들 얘기들어보면 극히 지나친 일부를 갖고 전체 한국인이 다그렇다고 말 하네..ㅎㅎ

  3. My Heart breaks for them and yet I envy their happiness. North Koreans truly are some of the sweetest people to exist.

  4. 그저 사회주의 책 몇 권 읽고 사회주의 체제의 환상에 빠져 있는 인간들이 꼭 봤으면 한다.

  5. It's sad cause people tend to make fun of North Korea for the bombs Kim Jong Eun is making but they dont see the whole story of these innocent people being so tortured that they cry when they have reached their so called "freedom"

  6. To the guy, you can’t expect South Koreans just to change there minds. Once they come together that’s when North Koreans show them they are not what they thought they were. At the end of the day people have to understand if you were told something since a young age that’s all your brain knows.

    That’s why they had to keep them isolated and teach them how the world worked for 3 months. To educate them this isn’t like North Korea.

  7. The guy is so insightful. I feel compassion for him and the girl is so bubbly. I hope their lives will be blessed. Each society has different ups and downs. Like our country, the Philippines, it is a poor country but we have a higher happiness index than more progressive ones. Cherish your lives, you have been through so much to get there. Let your lives be sources of inspiration for others.

  8. First of all, didn't know that in North Korea people didn't know how to ride a bus, use a tv remote etc. maybe because they haven't come across them.
    But really liked both the North Koreans in the video and loved the boy's vision of bringing down suicide rates in South Korea. Also liked that he has a clear mind where, even though he wants a reunification, he knows now isn't the best time for it and has such a clear reason for that.

  9. The North Korean man should write a book. He has a way of describing scenarios that invoke feelings from anyone hearing his stories.

  10. Truth, i lived in South Korea, it was hard for me to adapt coming from a developing country. I could understand because i was foreigner what about several Citizens believing on their right? However North Koreans experienced a dictatureship authority, they can resist the humiliation of poverty and come up of it. But they need to stay on their regions. And the government should also put some protective laws for any kind of discrimination like women are protected because they are mostly victims of harrassment. Also North Koreans can be victims of discrimination then strong regulations will be needed to protect them. Otherwise they will need to protect themselves like the guy above who feeled the suicide. The humiliation can end up to the suicide.

  11. 탈북하손분들이 쓸데없이 돈 몇푼받고 집회나 나가지 않았으면 그게 통일 에 도움되겠네~

  12. I'm eternally grateful to this channel for highlighting these massively important issues. Everything they say is Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany all over again. Unfortunately when this was happening in the ussr the entire world was largely unaware. We weren't taught about it in school, our parents didn't talk about it….mostly bc none of us knew. The work you are doing here is so valuable and necessary. My deepest gratitude to everyone from the channel, the participants, and everyone bringing awareness to these issues. Blessings.

  13. I’m not very educated but I hope I learn more… but are people trying to get the president of North Korea out? If not or if they cannot, there will be hope I will try to spread the awareness and hope for the best for the North Koreans 🥺😭

  14. Whathappend to these wonderful people?? Her utube channel doesnt work and where is he? Someone said his in North Korea now..

  15. When they landed in South Korea, it must've been like kids let loose in a candy store! Going from severe austerity to opulent wealth would've been a massive assault on the senses. Imagine, if just having electricity was a luxury, the bright lights of South Korea must've been blinding!

  16. People will never be happy anyway. You may think chasing money is bad, but can you say chasing dictatorship & starvation is better? Get real people – money is happiness because if you have money, your standard of living is better therefore, money is happiness 💵 👈😔👌

  17. 英語と日本語が重なったらどっちもみえない。考えて貰えないと見る気なくなるよ。

  18. I am from Germany and had the same thing with reunification. Reunification has like the man has said two sides: The good side is that Korea is unified (and maybe there will be freedom in N.Korea). The Koreans of which the families are divided can meet. Like the N. Korean man mentionied, there will be social conflicts. In Germany, many East Germans feel treated as second class citizens. In East Germany there are only few professional workers and there is not much industry apart from a big coal field. That´s why in East Germany they voted a far-right party who is against foreigners, especially refugees from islamic countries. Some people say the party is near to some Nazi organizations. In the East people still earn less money and only few people want to move there.

  19. 곧 한국에 돌아가는 유학생인데 한국의 바쁜 사회와 자살률 얘기가 나오니 참 마음이 아프네요.. 저도 여기 나와서 한국의 바빴던 생활을 잊고 살았고 그 때의 괴로웠던 제가 너무 어리석게 느껴졌어요. 하지만 저렇게 간절했던 새터민분도 한국사회의 스트레스에 젖어 들어 갔던게 너무 안타깝고 저도 돌아가서는 다시 또 그러고 싶지 않은데 라는 생각이 듭니다.. 조금 더 여유와 행복을 찾아 사는게 중요한거 같아요

    Je suis étudiant coréen qui va rentrer en Corée du sud. Depuis 3 ans dans la vie étrangère, je me sens ridicule que j’aurais eu trop de stresse dans mon quotidien en Corée. Mais il me donne un avertissement que je peux encore « Coréen misérable » comme il a pensé en suicide en oubliant sa passion. Je n’ai plus envie … Il faut ne pas oublier mon bien être et la marge de la vie.

  20. this video is full of quotable quotes.. that young man survived bec he's destined to make a big difference in Korea — both N and S

  21. As a Chinese, I think North Korea’s brainwashing of the people is too serious. They think their leader is God and they are very hostile to South Korea. The North Korean government should be properly reformed and opened up like China. I hope this peninsula will never have a war.

  22. People in South Korea are not chasing money, but rather working hard to develop a better living standard. It will not happen by itself. People do not go to bed hungry at night , or cold and wet, or see their family members killed.

  23. I’m sure South Koreans would like unification but not if they have to endure the government and policies of North Korea…. why would they want that ? So they don’t talk about it or teach their young people.

  24. I think the PEOPLE of North and South Korea would have no trouble with unification. But the people in power in North Korea are the ones that need convincing.

  25. I disagree about the a clash of people should North and South Koreans unite. Of course there will be several years of adjustment though.

  26. 韓国に逃げたのは大変良いと思いました。しかし現在の文政権は北朝鮮に近づいてます。

  27. Definitely a very educational video. Would like to know if South Korea wants to re educate 3 million people into their society. Or perhaps n.k.could remain for the most part the same but with much more infrastructure. Kid of like east and west Germany, when the Berlin wall fell.

  28. Only visible in Korean propaganda videos

    The reason is that we make videos that are convenient for Korea

    Not just this video

  29. Important strong messages here. How modern day competition can strip one's humanity and expose them to great dangers. People less exposed to this perversion are sensible to this in a very extreme way. Their power as human real reference, what a human really is, not a corporate servant human ressource. The humanity of this video is refreshing and, like you said, inspiring. People have to listen to thier message. Thank you for this.

  30. She is really beautiful, the way she sees things, the way she learned through south korean society. Also shawn me that some thing we take as granted, like wireless cards and electronic gadget, are the future for someone else.

  31. This is the reason why S.korean government are conducting brainwashed education to children. S.korean is populism country. the people have inferior complex about surgery face, shallow culture and ugly face

  32. North Koreans – Poor, threatened by the government yet they are close to each other
    South Koreans – Rich, has freedom but are more focused on work and materialistic things.
    If one day Korea becomes unified, Happiness and all are living their best lives without fearing for their lives is all I wish for them.

  33. Ok this should work if north Korean and South Korean listen to this might just bring unity to all check out my Sammie Lyons SoundCloud ABLUM Chinatown THANKS for more inspiration SAMMIESOS55 INSTAGRAM

  34. 같은 민족인데 분단되어 다른 삶을 살고 인간에게 주어진 너무나 당연한 '자유'의 권리를 누리지 못하는것이 제일 안타깝습니다. 남한에서 태어난걸 감사하게되네요. 😂

  35. そんなに苦労したのに統一なんてしたら全く受け入れられない思想が国民を苦しめますよね。



  36. ㅠ 당신들은 우리의 동포이며 한 민족입니다.
    대한민국 국민으로 행복하게 사셨으면 좋겠습니다.

  37. 11:13
    이건 아마도 다른 지원자들이 탈북한 사람이라고 특혜 줬다고 뭐라고 할까봐 미리 말하는 거 아닐까 싶은데

  38. You should not blame China.There are more than 30,000 North Korean refugees in China. South Korea symbolically accepts only a few. There are many many remaining refugees that South Korea don’t want to accept,so they have to stay in China. China cannot give them Chinese national identity and cannot send them back to North Korea,so how can China do? If South Korea is really so kind, please accept the remaining 30,000 of your northern brothers together,China will be very appreciate.

  39. 통일로 다시 공산국으로 돌아가네.많은 북한 사람들이 그곳을 떠날 수 있었겠죠. 납치된 일본인은 자신의 의사가 아니기 때문에 불행합니다.

  40. 우리한텐 흔한게 다른사람에게는 천국처럼 보일 수가 있구나…. 이렇게 자유롭게 사는데에 감사하며 살아야겠다

  41. I agree with the guy about reunification issue. Both S and N people are not yet ready , they need to educate more about the issue. This will clash the whole nation. He is so smart and considerate.

  42. Why were they nice to me?
    I was born in North Korea and stayed loyal to the country but the NK treated me like a criminal.
    I was abandoned by China because I wasn't a Chinese citizen.
    South Korea that was supposed to be my enemy sincerely welcomed me with open arms.
    After hearing and seeing Korean language was the happiest day of my life.

    So moving! SK should send the millions leaflets with this statement over to NK.

  43. Very interesting listening to these defectors. It does make you wonder what life should really be about. In Free market countries I think we're sold a lie. Work hard, get rich and enjoy the happiness that the big house and fancy car can bring. We see this on TV all the time. When you hear these two describing the commradery in poverty and happiness that can come from it, I have to question this narrative…

  44. 북한에서도, 중국에서도 환영받지 못했는데 적대국으로 생각했던 한국에서 환영한다는 말을 듣고 우셨다는 말씀이 정말 감명깊었습니다.
    말 한마디 한마디 정말 자유가 없을 정도로 조심해야하는 북한 현실이 너무 안타깝네요.
    당연시했던 자유의 가치가 와닿았습니다.
    그러면서도 한편으로는 경쟁 속에서 살면서 행복을 찾지 못하는 남한 현실도 생각해볼 수 있어서 참 좋았습니다.

  45. So what is the status of the 2 north korean. I mean u know people nowadays.are they safe? Because people watch this and report to north or any government agencys. You know what i mean

  46. Herşeyi açıkladınız şimdi kuzey kore ülkeden çıkışları daha da sıkıştırıp çinliler de daha çok korelileri çinden gönderme işine girişebilirler aferin. Tüm gizli prosedürü de söylediğiniz için diğer insanları ölüme terk ettiniz. Bu yaptığınız iyi bişey gibi görünmüyor.

  47. When you're from north you know how to value happiness and freedom rather than money and fame

  48. 북한 정부 입장은 세뇌교육은 문제이지만
    남한도 통일이나 주변국들, 미국등과의 외교적 문제에 교육을 잘해야한다.

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