A boy wandering around a market and a housing area. He looks less than ten years old. He shortly said, “I don’t have parents.” His hair color has faded away. November 2012, in a suburb of Ryanggang Province (ASIAPRESS)



The North Korean state-owned media has repeatedly broadcasted Kim Jong-un visiting orphanages since the beginning of his regime in 2012.  He hugged a child and patted the head with a big smile.

However, there have also been footages where Kim Jong-un acts thoughtlessly during his visit to an orphanage: smoking a cigarette and entering an orphanage without taking off shoes along with other government officials.

A child “kotchebi,” the homeless roaming around a city, is the representation of the North Korean society.  Children become kotchebi after something unfortunate happened to their parents.
Related article: <Photo Report> Kotchebi, the Homeless, Under the Kim Jong-un Regime (PART2) Toddler worn out on a street while regime shows off luxury orphanages

Passersby on the street rarely pay attention to kotchebi.  They said “How can I sympathize with them when even my life is unbearable,” and “Since I have seen too many kotchebi, I am already used to it.”

Sadly enough, the long period of difficulties that North Koreans have faced is still crippling human relations.

A toddler kotchebi crying hard outside a market. Someone said “I feel sorry for him,” but no one talked to him. November 2012, Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province. Taken by our Team ‘Mindeulle’ (ASIA PRESS)


A male kotchebi looking for something useful at a garbage dump near an apartment. March 2013, in Pyongson City, South Pyongan Province(ASIAPRESS)

Related article: Kotchebi, the Homeless, Under the Kim Jong-un Regime (PART1) A girl and a boy–probably siblings–sleeping on a street

Kim Jong-un visited a newly established large-scale orphanage. He and other government officials thoughtlessly entered the room without taking off shoes. The picture was on the front page of RodongSinmun on 2 January 2015.


<Kotchebi, the Homeless, Under the Kim Jong-un Regime>View article sections

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