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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Kim Seong Min

Interviewed June 23, 2024

North Korea is a regime that fails to support the human dignity of its people. Actually, the North Korean regime’s survival and maintenance is based on ignoring and eliminating human dignity. An average North Korean wouldn’t have a proper understanding of what human dignity even means.

In the past, North Koreans lived under tightly-controlled socialism, but now that they’ve experienced an element of capitalism in the marketplace, North Koreans are probably for the first time understanding what it means to own something, to own their own tools, to have their own cash and to own rice. Now they are more resistant to having what they own taken away.

[During North Korea’s great famine of the mid-1990s, the government was unable to fulfill its traditional role of providing all goods and services to its people. As a result, the people established underground markets for their survival and became less dependent on the government for their livelihood.]

I think from this marketplace, the environment for rebelling against the regime is gradually developing. This kind of atmosphere is now there.

North Koreans may not understand this sophisticated concept of human dignity, but now there is a widespread perception that they do not want things taken away from them. This is a development that offers hope.