Life in North Korea – An Interview

First of all, thanks to Богдан Миличић for brining this interview to our attention.

His comments are added between parentheses, and I’ll also add some pics for better reading.

First, His Intro

Serbian Newspaper interviews Serbian Volleyball coach who lived in Pyongyang, North Korea about his experiences. Possibly more evidence that they aren’t actually Communists, but are in fact, a form of National Socialism.

Keep in mind this man was born, raised and educated in Communist Yugoslavia and he teaches Volleyball, so his thoughts on what is ”Communism” are naturally not to be trusted.

The Interview Itself (With Minor Edits)

“The image we have of North Korea is wrong,” says Branislav Moro, volleyball trainer from Serbia, who awaits a second contract in North Korea. He reveals to us how life truly is like in this country.

He lived in 11 countries, he went to them without prejudice, and now he is in a country that, as he said, had its entire image built by the media. The only Serb in Pyongyang is Branislav Moro, the famed Serbian volleyball trainer.

“They mostly misinform us, I don’t even know why, because there’s no interest in that. Mi for example read that the children there are hungry, but the children there are placed on a pedestal, better than here.”

“They have better kindergartens, better conditions, even in the most basic of things – the terrain around the playground is surrounded by 5cm of rubber so that the child wouldn’t hurt itself when it falls. They even have closed pools in kindergartens, and not only one, often a few in one kindergarten.”

It Was My Privilege

Rule Number 1

“When you go there,” he explains, “first they clarify that there is no ‘South Korea.’ The South is called Korea, and the North bears the name ‘Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.’

That is the only reference they will accept to their state. Korea is aligned with America, and the DPRK with China and Russia.

Protected Individual

He moves around the city freely he says, because he bears the ”Protected Individual” status , as the only foreigner in the world of sport. He said he went through a ”scanner” to get the job , but doesn’t think it’s that much different from all the other countries he’s worked in.

“They are a very concentrated people and they take care of everything. My training is always supervised by cameras, which may have bothered me in the beginning a little, but after a while I understood that they treat all their affairs so analytically,” says Moro, who still didn’t meet the ”leader”. Still, according to him, the leader himself – Kim Jong Un – gave his ”blessing” for his contract.

The plan is that, in the following months, there should be a renewal of the agreement.

It Was My Privilege

Life Without Bills

“This land has a perspective – no one owns anything to anyone. They have a phenomenal industry of food. Their average personal income is between $300 and $350, but the car and the apartment are provided by the state.

They pay no education, no health-care, no utility bills. The state provides everything,” our informant said.

Give What You Have!

When payment is due, they can be very flexible.

“You go into a store and it says ”11.” You give $15 and they give you back $4. You pay in euros – they pay you back in euros.

They outdid the Montenegrins (the Montenegrins are famed through the Balkans for using many many currencies because of the tourist nature of their economy). I barely saw their own currency, but there are stores where only their own products are sold.

It Was My Privilege

There are ‘free shops,’ but I don’t know why they carry such a name, when both us foreigners and them shop there, says the volleyball coach.

Some Other Values

Moro thinks that the young in North Korea have a completely different mindset, so the influence of the West, even when it gets to them, doesn’t change much:

“In my group, all the girls know how to play the piano, violins, which has become extremely rare even here – exotic, to say the least. Don’t even get me started on reading books, because I can’t get my daughter to read even 2 books.”

He claims that he once played the newest Western music, but that no one was impressed.

“They don’t really like that music. And these guys, they listen to good music. They have a phenomenal group called Morango, a female group made up of 16-18 girls, 6-7 of whom sing, and all the others play.”

“There was a Slovenian group Laybach in Pyongyang recently, which I can’t understand.” (Laybach = Slovenian fascist group, he thinks that because the DPRK is Communist, they should naturally reject all fascist/national-socialist products)

It Was My Privilege

“The capital is alive, clean, people interacting everywhere …”

His story was based on his experiences in Pyongyang, so we can only assume that the situation in Pyongyang is similar to other parts of North Korea.

“$2 pal! All day in a spa center, so modern that it makes waves! And for only $2 you get the whole day!”

“I cannot claim, but I am getting information that a dozen or so cities have been developed, especially towards the sea on the Japanese side, and that there are some serious tourist resorts there.”

In the capital he was amazed with, among other things, the cleanliness.

“I’ll give you $100 if you can find a piece of paper within 10km. Pyongyang is as a city well-made, clean, the streets wide, squares big, and everything is very well sorted out.”

It Was My Privilege
[Some NK Bants]

“The things that they have are incomparable to what we have. The infrastructure they have, we lack – not because Serbia is Serbia, but because of the situation in Europe. I live next to a hotel that is being made that stands 250 meters tall.”

“By work, order, and devotion, they are equals of the Japanese,” says Moro about the people of North Korea.

“They hang out!”

He explains that there is no nightlife there as we would understand. They simply have no habits of going out like that.

“But they still hang out more. I’m walking through the city, and in front of every building there is a volleyball field and at around 18:00 everyone plays volleyball, and those that don’t cheer on! They hang out! They are very connected to each other, they interact a lot, entire buildings of people go out into the streets and I watch in amazement.”

A Kuwait man walks into a coffee shop …

“I worked in another Communist country – this was Kuwait, when you take out a loan there they forgive you the interest and the loan. There is no better Communism than in Kuwait, that is the single greatest Communist country that exists. But they still complain and say that what they have is too little.”

“I was sitting with some friends at a coffee shop, when a Kuwait man walked in and said ‘This country sucks. My wife buys a bag for 2.500 caddy’ (translated from Serbian phonetics – 2.500 caddies are 6.000 euros).’

“We almost threw him out,” says Moron almost in tears of laughter.

It Was My Privilege

Relationship with the Leader – Fantastic !

We had to check if the relationship with the leader is as it is being propagandized.

“You can usually read that it is fantastic, and I really think it is fantastic. I would like it if we presented our president in the same manner, whoever he was, whatever his convictions are, and whatever his political beliefs are.”

“A president deserves respect and admiration from the people that chose him. These norms should apply to every president all the world.”

About Sports

“When it comes to sports and equipment, I can honestly say I have better working conditions than in 90% of Europe. I have better conditions than in Germany – I won’t even talk about our conditions.”

He works at a club called “425 sport club”, because 425 is the name of the army responsible for sports. That is literally an entire army of athletes, as 90% of the sports are regulated through the army – the rest through the police.

“That’s nothing strange, such a system is applied in certain areas of China as well.”

It Was My Privilege

“They invest heavily in sports, there is even a street in Pyongyang called the Street of Youth, where there are 32 sport halls. Every type of sport has its own hall.

Volleyball still has a separate hall, and football is also very favored.”

They Aren’t Ignorant

“They would never be interested in certain networks (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter – I’m assuming) as far as the Internet is concerned, nor the Farm (popular Serbian reality show of ignorant fools) – they have no such interests.”

It Was My Privilege

“They are headed in a completely different direction. They have their own national program and that’s it. If you ask me, they look a lot like old Communist Yugoslavia. They have a production of computers, they all know how to work on computers, but only in relevance to their jobs.”

“They are well informed, they aren’t ignorant.”

Check out this article if you want more info.

Also, this is the original article in Serbian.


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