Life inside the pro-North Korea enclave in Japan – NKNews Podcast Ep. 243


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Growing up in Kobe, Park Hyangsu lived in a world apart from most of the Japanese people around her. At school, her teachers spoke Korean. In the classroom, portraits of North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il hung on the walls. For educational field trips, students traveled to the DPRK. This week, Park joins the NK News podcast to discuss her family’s life inside Chongryon, the pro-DPRK organization of ethnic Koreans in Japan that acts as Pyongyang’s de facto embassy to Tokyo. She shares about her experience receiving Juche ideological education in school, the tragic story of her uncle who moved to the DPRK, how her family distanced itself from the organization and how she now speaks up for people like her family members who have been imprisoned and tortured in North Korea. Park Hyangsu (@HyangsuPark and @baglekang) is a North Korea human rights activist and a Zainichi Korean now living in South Korea. Her story is featured in the NK News article “Activists fear North Korean human rights issues increasingly met with a shrug.” 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.