A boy–apparently, below ten years old–worn out at a market. He may be extremely hungry or exhausted. November 2012, in a suburb of Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province. Taken by an AISAPRESS reporting partner in Ryanggang Province (ASIAPRESS)



The North Korean state media has often announced that Kim Jong-un visited newly established large-scale orphanages in Pyongyang and Wonsan.  It has proudly portrayed his “love towards the children.”

Although the number has decreased under the Kim Jong-un regime, however, there are still “Kotchebi,” the Homeless, roaming around cities in all parts of North Korea. They turned into kotchebi because their parents were dead or had abandoned them due to their inability to take care of them.

A child kotchebi is born out of parents’ inability to raise him/her.  The majority of North Koreans makes a living out of small business.  Once unexpected problems occur–such as a disease, business failure, theft, and being arrested by the authority, it becomes extremely hard for them to make a living.

When everything goes wrong, people–both in Japan and North Korea– resort to committing crimes, doing a moonlight flit, and even committing suicide. In addition, people in North Korea easily end up as kotchebi–roaming around cities. It is because the majority of the people rely on the feeble foothold for a living, and the social welfare system is dysfunctional.
Related article: Kotchebi, the Homeless, Under the Kim Jong-un Regime (PART1) A girl and a boy–probably siblings–sleeping on a street

The boy at the previous picture dragging a big cloth bag. When the reporter asked about his parents, he shortly answered: “I don’t have.” November 2012, in a suburb of Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province. Taken by an AISAPRESS reporting partner in Ryanggang Province (ASIAPRESS)


May she be hungry? A girl kotchibi is staring at food at a hawker stall. She is holding a plastic bag with a bit of food. March 2013, in Pyongson City, South Pyongan Province. Taken by ASIAPRESS.


Kim Jong-un should focus on re-building the social welfare system and allowing it people to have the freedom of market activity, not building large luxurious orphanages intended for propaganda use only.  (ISHIMARU Jiro)
Related article: [Video Report] The hidden homeless of Pyongyang

Kim Jong-un visited a newly established large-scale orphanage. The picture was at the front page of RodongSinmun on 2 January 2015.


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