Childhood in North Korea
Childhood is a great time and the most valuable time in the life of any person. And it’s not at all great when children work in the fields or blindly support dictators. But if you are one of five million children under 14 born in North Korea, then, unfortunately, this is the reality.
Children in this country are taught to love history and all rulers - from the founder of the state Kim Il Sung to the present ruler Kim Jong-un. So what is it like to grow in the most closed country in the world?
Children born and living outside the capital should work on farms.
Some sources claim that workers who do not comply are sent to camps as a punishment.
In less developed regions, the road to school may pass through facilities under construction and other dangerous areas. A few school buses are often converted from dump trucks.
For orphans in North Korean shelters life is even harder. Even if children are adopted, there is a risk that parents will give them back if they cannot provide it.
Families, where there is still little money, can afford a bit of luxury - for example, traditional costumes.
But money does not exempt families from political responsibilities. Many idolize the country's leaders and periodically travel with their children to historical monuments to pay homage.
Schoolchildren and students are often forced to go to the monuments in groups in order to express their love to the leaders of the country.
In June 2017, Kim Jong-un organized a performance “We are the happiest in the world” - in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Union of Children of Korea.
Ideological processing begins in kindergarten. Children learn anti-American slogans, with toy guns and grenades attacking cartoon figures of soldiers.
In honor of the International Children's Day in the capital, a military parade was held, where the children were dressed like army soldiers.
School conditions do not always meet sanitary standards. Kindergarten in the photo is located on the territory of a textile factory.
Children in families that do not live within the poverty line have a slightly better chance of the joys of childhood.
For example, children of high-ranking parents study in the Palace of Schoolchildren of the Mangunde district. They are engaged in various sports, they are taught foreign languages, they are taught to work on computers.
The massive concrete building run by the Korean Youth Corps accommodates up to 5,400 children.
Pompous ideas are also a tribute to the North Korean cult of personality. Topics of greatness and honor are widespread.
During the presentation for foreign journalists in May 2016, for example, many performances, including choral singing, dancing and acrobatic performances, had a clear political connotation.