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North Korean defector breaks silence, young anti-Kim Jong Un, interview

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north korea south korea dmz 8
South
Korean and U.S. soldiers stand guard at the truce village of
Panmunjom. July 2017.

Jung
Yeon-Je/Reuters


  • A North Korean border-guard who defected to the South has
    given his first interview to media since crossing in November
    2017
  • Oh Chong Song, 25, said that 80% of young people in North
    Korea aren’t loyal to Kim Jong Un at all. 
  • He gave an interview to Japanese language newspaper Sankei
    Shimbun, published on Friday.
  • Oh also spoke about his escape, where his former comrades
    shot him at least five times. 
  • Oh said: “If they don’t shoot, they will be severely
    punished. If I were in their position I would have shot me too.”

A North Korean border guard who defected in 2017 has given his
first interview a year after his bullet-ridden escape, and he
says most young people in the country aren’t loyal to Kim Jong
Un. 

On November 13, 2017, Oh Chong Song made the dash through
Panmunjom (“Truce Village”) in the demilitarized zone near the
South Korean border, taking heavy fire from his colleagues,
sustaining at least five bullet wounds, but ultimately
surviving. 

In an interview
with Japanese language newspaper Sankei Shimbun
 on
Friday the 25-year-old spoke about his escape and his memories of
North Korea.

He said: “People my age, about 80% of them are indifferent and
they don’t feel loyal towards [Kim.]”

Oh said: “Not being able to feed the people properly — but the
hereditary succession keeps going on — that results in
indifference and no loyalty.”

Read more:

‘Treated like animals’: A North Korean defector tells the brutal
story of what happened to him after he was caught trying to
escape

In the interview Oh, who joined the North Korean army in 2010,
said he is now a “new person with a new name” living in South
Korea. He said he has “no regrets about defecting,” the paper
quotes him as saying.

Speaking openly about his escape, and his comrades opening fire
on him as he fled, Oh said: “If they don’t shoot, they will be
severely punished. If I were in their position I would have shot
me too.”

The South Korean doctor who saved Oh from death said he was “a
broken jar. We couldn’t put enough blood into him,” the interview
quoted him as saying, referring to at least five bullet wounds Oh
got during the escape.

The article reports that Oh started drinking on the night of his
escape after an unspecified altercation with friends, and he
decided to head for the border. The village is the only place
where troops from both sides come face-to-face. 

He said in the interview there was no turning back. “I feared I
could be executed if I went back so I crossed the border,” he
said.

The paper shared a video of the interview on their YouTube page,
only showing Oh’s hand and torso while he speaks about his
escape:

 

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