[imText1]According to an interview with recent defectors, North Koreans do not trust their armed forces anymore but detest the soldiers.
Mr. Kim, a 27-year old defector, had an interview with the Daily NK in Yanji, Jilin Province, China, and said that most of the North Korean residents called the soldiers “son of a bitch.”
“In the past,” Kim recalled, “North Korean people like the army and called them people’s army. We were always hospitable to them. And they actually deserved to receive hospitality.”
Such popular attitude toward armed forces had changed since the Great Famine in the mid-90s, Kim said.
“Now, soldiers only plunder ordinary people,” Kim said with disappointed voice.
“A few years ago,” the defector told his personal experience to the reporter, “several soldiers sneaked into my house brandishing axes. And they stole our dog. I was just shocked.”
Although the authorities advertise grandeur of the military-first policy, people are tired of the army’s violence and have even given up last remaining confidence on their military, according to Kang’s testimony.
Kang, a 23-year old defector living in Tumen, China, said “Nobody wants to go to the army because it can’t even feed soldiers. People rather hope to earn money by doing business.”
In North Korea, among graduates of high school, college students and laborers are exempt from enlistment. However, those who must serve tried hard to evade the army service, Kang said. He added “Many people pay money to avoid draft and others often desert. Only those from poor families go to army.”
“Nowadays, North Korean young men avoid marriage until accumulating some amount of money. Only ex-soldiers do not know much about the reality of lives and how they have changed. So the marriage market is heavily favored against young women,” Kang said sarcastically.