Africa to North Korea: Growing up under Kim Il Sung’s fatherly care – Ep. 259

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At the age of 6, Monique Macias fled political turmoil in Equatorial Guinea and found refuge in Pyongyang, becoming not only one of the few foreigners to grow up there but doing so under the guardianship of founding leader Kim Il Sung. This week, Macias joins the NK News podcast to talk about her unique upbringing and about identity, culture and acceptance in the notoriously monoethnic and homogenous society. She discusses her decision to study textiles and fashion at the personal suggestion of Kim Il Sung, why she remembers him as a father and not a politician, Confucian influence in both Koreas, the principles of non-intervention and more. Monique Macias spent more than 15 years in Pyongyang and has since lived and worked in South Korea, China, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. Her biography, “I’m Monica from Pyongyang,” is available in Korean and will be published in English next year. About the podcast: The North Korea News Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot (@JaccoZed) exclusively for NK News, covering all things DPRK — from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field, along with insight from our very own journalists.

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