A boy abandoned and lost home by his family due to extreme poverty. He begged for food to the photographer. He said, “I live under the bridge.” June 2013, in a Northern part of Ryanggang Province. Taken by our Team ‘Mindeulle’ (ASIA PRESS)



This part introduces a child “Kotchebi”–the Homeless–in Ryanggang Province (located at the China-North Korea border).

Even under the Kim Jong-un regime, the food rationing system has still been totally dysfunctional.  Most of the people make their livings on business by themselves.

Since Ryanggang Province is one of the trade centers with China, the living standard is better than that of other areas due to abundant business opportunities.  But still, we can find kotchebi in all of the videos we took in the city.  It can be assumed that a number of parents are still unable to raise children due to financial difficulty.
Related article:  A toddler–roaming around a city–represents the society. Kim Jong-un thoughtlessly enters orphanages without taking off shoes.

Sadly, toddler kotchebi–apparently, around 4 to 5 years old–exist as well.  Ryangang Province is the coldest place in North Korea; the temperature goes down to below -25 degrees.  How do children survive in winter?  It is regrettable that we can not give them helping hands from outside.

A group of kotchebi wandering around the city central of Hyesan City. Two of them still look like toddlers. November 2012, in Hyesan City, Ryangang Province. Taken by our Team ‘Mindeulle’ (ASIA PRESS)

Next page: A boy kotchebi begging at a waiting room of a station...