Thursday, 18 February 2016

North Korea: Totally Weird

By North Korean standards Jang Yeong-jin had a normal start in life: he joined the military at 19, completed 10 years of national service and married soon after.

But trapped in his country, which he has called “one huge prison without bars”, problems with his marriage led him to defect to South Korea.

It was only when he crossed the border and spent time in a more open society did it become clear to him that he was homosexual, something he had never previously had a name for. The 55-year-old is now the only openly gay North Korean defector living in the South.

“I was too embarrassed [at first] to confess that I [defected] because I felt no sexual attraction to my wife... I couldn’t explain what it was that bothered me so much,” he told the New York Times in June.

“I didn’t know until after I arrived here that I was a gay, or even what homosexuality was.”

In his recently published memoir, A Mark of Red Honour now translated into English, Jang describes how it felt to be thrust in to the limelight living his life as a double alien: “an alien North Korean escapee in South Korean society and an alien sexual minority in a heterosexual society.” ...

A brief Q&A follows...

Guardian online - from their shady North Korea Network section.


PS Kim Jong-un's brother, Jong-chul,is as gay as a daffodil, btw.

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