North Korean tour guide offers startling insight into what his country REALLY thinks about ‘hostile’ America
An American backpacker traveling through North Korea asked his tour guide about the country’s relationship with the United States – and was stunned by the response.
His guide seemed to reflect the point of view of the citizens within the totalitarian regime, as many viewers pointed out that the guide’s narrative did not quite reflect the whole story.
“A one-off recording of a North Korean party member explaining their perception of the United States,” states the clip, shared by travel content creator Jesse Romberg, who posts under the username @homeless.backpacker.
“What would you say is the general perception of, let’s say, the United States in North Korea, in the DPRK?” Jesse begged his nameless guide – with DPRK short for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is what the nation calls itself.
On a tour of North Korea, content creator Jesse Romberg decided to ask his state-appointed tour guide about the country’s relationship with the United States.
In Jesse’s Instagram Highlights roll of his trip to North Korea, he explained that he gained entry to the country via Chinese tourist agency
‘Until now we have no history of invasion. Korea – DPRK – has no history of invasion,” the unnamed man began.
‘(America) has invaded so many countries. But there is no history of invasion (from DPRK),’ he continued.
“We didn’t do any harmful things to America, but America invaded our country.
‘They are still in the southern part of our country. And still they push hostile policies against our country, and sanctions against our country,’ he continued.
“So what we want to say (to the US) is to leave our country, lift all sanctions – then we can restore relations … Relations between America and our country will get better.”
Also shedding light on the guide’s comments, Jesse explained in another Instagram story that North Korea does not recognize separate nations of North and South Korea, adding that the regime views Korea as one country, with the US occupying ‘the southern part of Korea’.
South Korea is internationally recognized as an independent nation.
By talking about the ‘invasion’ of Korea, the guide refers to the Korean War that began when North Korea, led by Kim Il-sung and backed by the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea in 1950.
His guide seemed to reflect the point of view of the citizens within the totalitarian regime, as many viewers pointed out that the guide’s narrative did not quite reflect the whole story
North Korea has been ruled by the Kim family since 1948, with current Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un being the third generation ruler.
Meanwhile, in 1948, the United States appointed Syngman Rheea as South Korea’s first president, who also served as an anti-communist leader in the region.
Given the Cold War-era power struggle, North Korea’s invasion of South Korea was also seen by the United States as an existential threat to democracy.
Ten days after the invasion, the United States descended on the Korean peninsula. The United Nations also got involved and supported South Korea, and China sent troops supporting North Korea.
The ensuing struggle claimed the lives of nearly three million Koreans, at least half of which were civilian deaths. Almost a million Chinese soldiers were also killed, while the US counted 54,000 casualties.
When an armistice was called in 1953, the border between North and South Korea remained essentially unchanged.
South Korea is still an ally of the US, and the US maintains a strong military presence in the country.
Meanwhile, the Kim family continued to rule North Korea, with Kim Il-sung’s grandson, Kim Jong Un, currently ruling as Supreme Leader.
The country is considered one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes. Citizens cannot leave the country without the permission of the government, on pain of death.
Speaking out against the government is also punishable by death – making the prospect of interrogating one of its citizens on camera about international relations rather fraught.
The ‘sanctions’ on North Korea that the guide referred to were maintained mainly because the country insisted on developing its nuclear program.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations: ‘North Korea’s leadership, under successive Kims, sees nuclear weapons as the only way to guarantee its survival.
“(The capital of) Pyongyang points to US military bases in the region, as well as the war games that the United States regularly plays with its allies, as a threat to its existence.”
Some viewers took issue with the veracity of the guide’s statements in the comments section of Jesse’s TikTok, with most seemingly ready to see the guide’s narrative paint North Korea in a more benign light.
‘Really good to know another side of the story,’ wrote one, with another echoing: ‘Well said. Honestly, it’s a position I’ve never considered.’
Another pushed back: ‘It was a CIVIL WAR, educate yourself.’
In Jesse’s Instagram Highlights roll of his trip to North Korea, he explained that he gained entry to the country via Chinese tourist agency.
On the train ride from China to North Korea, Jesse recalled not seeing a single car, and said, “Every person only has a bicycle. And decaying buildings, with children bathing in brown river water.’
About 60 percent of North Korea’s nearly 26 million residents are thought to live below the poverty line.
‘Now fast forward. Suddenly we’re in Dubai,” Jesse continued, referring to the opulence of Pyongyang.
“It’s important to note that this was a complete propaganda tour,” he wrote of the experience, adding: “The government creates the entire itinerary and only shows you what they allow to show.”