By Hye-soo Kim*
Edited by Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs and Editor, and
Nicholas Chun and Hangyun Kim, HRNK Research Interns
Original translation by Grace Kan, HRNK Research Intern
I would normally wake up at 6:00 a.m. I would help prepare breakfast, pack my backpack, and put on my school uniform and pin. Many people around the world have worn school uniforms at least once in their lives. For some countries with compulsory education, students are required to wear school uniforms up until high school. The North Korean regime, however, forces its students to wear school uniforms starting from elementary school to the end of their university careers. North Korean students must each day wear red scarves that symbolize the communist regime, and pins with portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. For North Korean students, everything—from their uniforms to the utilities in their classrooms—is about representing their loyalty to the Kim family regime.
HRNK staff members and interns wish to dedicate this program to our colleagues Katty Chi and Miran Song.