A woman, holding her baby, sells rice from China at a market. Taken by ASIAPRESS in October 2013 in Yanggang Province


The summit meeting between the South and the North at Panmunjum on April 27 was broadcasted live to the world except one country, North Korea. The edited version of thirty three minute video was broadcasted next day, on the night of April 28. How did ordinary people in the country feel about the historical meeting between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un? ASIAPRESS talked to a woman with two children on April 29 through a mobile phone. (ISHIMARU Jiro)

◆Some people weep loud

The mood here is like a feast. The topic is the summit meeting whether in the market or while on walking. People welcome the meeting, even expecting an abrupt unification which can bring a better life. Pork meats are sold like hot cakes in the market as people want to celebrate today.

The power has been supplied less than five minutes during this one month, but it came for two hours to let us watch TV news. Neighborhood ladies got together at my house to watch. The ladies wept loud while watching Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un to cross that dangerous Panmunjum into the South.

I thought as well “Ah! Ah! We can’t deny our same root of blood” when (Kim Jong-un) holding President Moon Jae-in’s hands. It was so touching even not so much as other people felt since I was told by you “The nuke development has brought the sanction.” It was also glad to watch the wives (of the heads of both side) having a meal together and talking like a family. I really hope that everything goes well.

-What is the reputation of President Moon Jae-in?

We don’t know much about him as almost no information was given to us. Anyhow he must be a good person as he joined the meeting. I heard that President Park Geun-hye was such a bad person.


Wishing South Korea’s help

-What do you expect from South Korea?

Nothing has been getting better (under Kim Jong-un’s regime). Business is not good (by the sanction). The number of merchants coming to the market became less as the sales dropped. Making money is much harder than before. North Koreans have had really hard times, right? No partners to rely on. It is said that the loss has been far greater even with China in trading.

In North Korea, anyhow, people think that South Korea is 100 times better than China. At first we hope that the rice would be supplied (from the South). This is the season of early seeding. Soldiers can have decent meals and the price of rice would drop in the market. It will be great if trade between the North and the South could be possible as the South is the same people and is a developed country. If the unification could be possible too, (our life) would be beyond imagination.

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Most of the people we have talked in North Korea expressed joy and expectation saying “Things will be better after the summit meeting.” Some people say “I hope open door and reformation like China It would be really wonderful to live freely like South Korea

The tears of the North Korean people on the news of the summit meeting. Aren’t they yearning for real change?

This is the article printed in Mainichi Shimbun of Osaka edition on May 15, 2018, which is amended and added for ASIAPRESS.

The interview with this woman was broadcasted at KBS of South Korea on May 15, 2018.