Born and raised in Japan, a third-generation Korean transplant, nestled in an area of Japan with a tight Zainichi Korean population, Hyangsu Park recounts her gripping first-hand account of the reality of North Korea, where her uncle had moved.
In the Zainichi Korean schools in Japan, students were taught that North Korea was like “paradise on Earth” and shown brochures of only smiling, happy people in North Korea.
More than 93,000 Zainichi Koreans — one out of six Kainichi Koreans— moved to North Korea, even though they were originally from South Korea. That’s how compelling was the appeal of North Korea they were given in school.
“I saw it myself, for the first time,” says Park . Her mom’s brother had moved to North Korea as a teen, to follow his girlfriend at the time and motivated by what they had been told in the Zainichi Korean schools in Japan. Once in, there was no getting out.
It was a nightmare from day one, as Park later saw for herself as a young girl when she first visited her uncle and her cousins, and again when she returned. “There is no freedom at all.”
This candid first-hand account gives the rest of us a window into the reality of North Korea. Invaluably informative, simply and engagingly told. Worth watching. Paradise Lost: A Generation Stolen by North Korea, a film by Jonathan Vit (below).