‘North Korea is like The Hunger Games’ Insider opens up on Kim Jong-un’s secretive state

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The ‘Supreme Leader’ in North Korea – Kim Jong-un – has followed in his family’s footsteps by enforcing a strict, repressive regime leaving many in the country poor and without basic living standards. Jacob Laukaitis – a traveller and blogger – visited the country, and has also spoken to defectors from the secretive state. He told Express.co.uk that many have compared North Korea’s society to that depicted in ‘The Hunger Games’ – a series of novels in a dystopian world where The Capital and some of the 13 districts hold the wealth, while other regions languish in poverty.



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While, given North Korea’s economic struggles, Pyongyang is not a wealthy area, compared to the rest of the country it is a hegemonic and more developed city.

Jacob told Express.co.uk: “When I have spoken to people I know who were refugees, they say that the North Korean society is exactly like The Hunger Games.

“They have different districts, some where the elite live, with a 100 times better lifestyle.

“Pyongyang isn’t rich by international standards, but in the country it is comparable to the Capital in The Hunger Games.

“Many defectors say that they never dreamed of living in Pyongyang, because it is absolutely impossible.

“But just visiting the place is the best day of your life if you are North Korean, like a holy city.”

Jacob, who is originally from Lithuania, travelled to North Korea four years ago.

But he has since tried to deter people from visiting the country.

In July last year, he posted a video on his YouTube channel urging people not to go, as much of the money spent there by tourists falls under state control.

He told Express.co.uk: “My initial motivation to go was because my parents and grandparents were born in the Soviet Union, and there aren’t many places where you can see what it was like.

“After the trip, only then did I think and read a bit more, and I felt bad about it for sure – but there wasn’t anything I could do other than share my views with the world.”

One striking experience for Jacob was his time on the streets of Pyongyang during his guided tour of the city.

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When he first arrived in the country, he noticed how the people there didn’t interact with tourists.

He added: “It was incredibly strange because, you are in a city with thousands of people around you, but you feel like you don’t exist.”

“If I’m in London, if I look at someone they may look back, but in Pyongyang it’s like there is an invisible wall between you.

“They don’t want to look at you, they seemed slightly afraid – but that’s understandable as they probably know they don’t want to say the wrong thing to me.”

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