In Reddit AMA, North Korean defector speaks of regime focus on US (VIDEO)


Park Sang-Hak (C), an activist and former defector from North Korea, complains with a state document approving his planned rally near the border as policemen block his truck containing anti-North Korea leaflets on a roadway in Paju, north of Seoul, on October 22, 2012.

A reported North Korean defector going by the alias Sang Hyun on Tuesday discussed extreme oppression and government control of information in his homeland. 

During an "Ask Me Anything" discussion on social media website Reddit on Tuesday night, Sang Hyun answered questions from users. The forum was organized by Movements.org and Liberty in North Korea (LiNK).

Sang Hyun said he managed to escape North Korea illegally, leaving his family and friends, and now lives in South Korea.

He added that he was keen to participate in a discussion "because he wants people in the outside world to have a better understanding of what is happening" in his home country, and to give its people a voice.

Despite frequent headlines about the hermit kingdom, few outsiders understand what it is like to live there, Sang Hyun, who is reportedly in his 20s, said.

"There is information that the government allows about the outside the world," he said.

"For instance they have news about America, but it is all bad stuff. So the government told us about the 9/11 terror attacks on the USA, but it was difficult to believe... They also have programs about famous people from around the world, or some nature documentaries from places like Africa."

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Sang Hyun added: "The regime only focuses on criticizing the US and the South Korean government."

Asked about the biggest adjustment he faced in his new home of South Korea, Sang Hyun answered: "Getting used to IT. For instance using the internet, signing up on websites etc. Cell phones are easy though."

Hear from another North Korean defector in GlobalPost's On Location video: