Back to all interviews
Freedom Collection

Interviews with Kim Seong Min

Interviewed June 23, 2024

Personally I don´t think that Kim Jong Il [Kim Jong Il was the dictator of North Korea from 1994 until his death in 2011.] is the president of the entire people of North Korea. He is responsible only for those who he finds necessary for his own personal needs. The farther he puts himself from the people, the more exclusive he becomes and these people usually end up dying of starvation. Therefore Kim Jong Il needs to favor only a select few people such as the Workers’ Party [The Korean Workers’ Party is the communist party of North Korea.] and the officers, the North Korean People’s Army, the security police, and other limited administrative bureaucrats in his regime.

He only favors and gives privileges to these people only. For example, on Kim Jong Il’s birthday, almost every two years he gives Mercedes Benz cars to the officers of the Workers’ Party [the communist party] and to the army. He constantly gives gift boxes to them with exotic fruits such as tangerines and bananas. These are things that the normal North Korean person does not have any access to in their daily life and are suffering living in extreme poverty which leads them to starve to death.

When I was in North Korea, I sometimes remember that it was around March that I was travelling on business and in a station in Pyongyang called Shincheongsan station, I saw about 20 corpses lying on the ground. There were a lot of people looking at the corpses that were so emaciated but normally the people would just walk by because it was common to see corpses in North Korea. But as I approached because everyone was looking there were two white belts on a corpse that formed from the lice around the corpse. I later learned that lice forms when a corpse rots and at that moment I almost threw up.

Nowadays when I think about that I cannot eat. So it is because of Kim Jong Il, his party members, and his power inheritance that he is able to live a very luxurious life when the entire population is suffering.