Summit expectations give hope to North Korea's so-called 'hostile class'

Kim Yoo Jin  |  2018-04-30 14:26

North Koreas so-called hostile class - which is subjected to strict surveillance and control by the countrys intelligence and security agency - is experiencing a burst of hope from the North-South summit meeting between leader Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in, report inside sources.  

Brides and grooms with political dissident family members like kwanliso [political prison camps] inmates and defectors have purposefully timed their engagement parties to coincide with the North-South summit meeting, suggesting that a positive result is expected, said an inside source from Ryanggang Province during a telephone call with Daily NK on April 26. 

The source mentioned a mother in their neighborhood whose son was getting married. It has been 18 years since [the mothers] younger sibling was sent to the kwanliso. She must be over 60 years old by now, so the mother thought shed die soon, but hoped that she would hold on to take care of her niece, who was sent into the kwanliso with her. 

The woman had become really dispirited about her younger sister and lost hope, but now,  because of expectations surrounding the inter-Korean summit, they are holding out hope that unification might mean the release of her family members, the source said.

Another source in Ryanggang Province informed Daily NK that there are mixed feelings in the border regions near China regarding the summit. Residents are hopeful about communicating with defector family members, but also worried at the same time.  

A source from North Hamgyong Province relayed further news regarding a town in Musan County. During the impoverished nations famine in the late 1990s, it was nearly completely deserted as residents escaped across the border to make new lives abroad. 

The residents who moved into the homes of the people that left are now worried. If there is unification, the original residents might come back and demand their old homes back," she said.  

But others, she noted, are thinking differently. The residents arent allowed to say South Josun [South Korea], so instead they say China. Some are saying, These people have been living well in China. When they come back and see the shabby state of their old homes, are they really going to want them back? she explained.

Although some residents are concerned that unification could mean the loss of their homes, many feel a sense of envy when they think about defectors. 

When asked about the general atmosphere surrounding the summit, the North Hamgyong-based source said, Most people are generally quiet, but they have really big expectations for the future. But they understand that lots of things need to develop a certain way, and then we can all be joyful together.  
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