Learn about NKSC’s Unification Education program throughout September
The Unification Education program took place in Gyungsang North Province, Andong in the Gyung-an Girls High School, the Sangin-chon Middle School School in Incheon, and the Daegu High School.
As always, throughout the Unification Education program, NKSC displayed pictures of life in North Korea. The display contains pictures of North Korean students in school, citizens having fun, and the daily life of people.
This Unification Education program was carried out in front of many students and was followed by a Q&A session.
What students asked and what young defectors responded
These are some of the questions and answers that were given in the second session.
Q: How did you figure out how to defect from North Korea?
A: “My hometown in Gangwon Province. When I was in North Korea I didn’t know about South Korea. My grandma however was living near Baekdu Mountain which is close to the North Korea China border and was able to see a lot of South Korean drama and media. Whenever I visited her house I was able to learn more about South Korea. I also had an aunt who lived in China. She gave us the information on how to defect.”
Q: Can you travel to other countries from North Korea?
A: “Do you think you can travel to other countries? In South Korea you can easily take transportation to go to which ever place you want for example from Seoul to Busan. However, in North Korea you must get special permission to go wherever you want. So what do you think happens when you want to go abroad? It is impossible. Average people in North Korea cannot leave their country freely. Only people in very high levels in North Korea can leave the country.”
Q: What is the average height of North Korean people?
A: “North Korean men regularly grow up to 165 cm-170 cm. Women grow from 154 cm- 160 cm. Before men used to grow only up to 160 cm however now they are growing a little big more. When I lived in North Korea my height was 155 cm. When I came to Korea I grew 15 cm! I could feel the difference! I realized it was because I was eating better here. Eating well really makes you grow!”
Q: Do you have laptops and smartphones in North Korea?
A: “In North Korea, internet and smartphone usage is not free. If you allow North Koreans for example to make international calls then the government will cease to exist. This is why the North Korean government tries to control this as much as possible. Nevertheless, now the wealthiest North Koreans are using mobile phones brought from China. They use the antennas that are brought from China. There are also laptops but since you can’t use the internet there is not much use. They say that now North Koreans are using many DVD players. ”
Q: Is there also compulsory education in North Korea?
“In North Korea it is compulsory to finish high school. Do you know how many years that is? Elementary here is for six years, middle school for three years, and high school one year right? In North Korea its 11 years of compulsory education. Now in North Korea you have to do one year of pre-school, five years of elementary, and six years of high school.”
Distribution of North Korea Information Booklets
At the end of the program NKSC distributed information booklets on North Korea. The students were very excited to receive these booklets.