While South Korea has an LGBT+ community, even among K-Pop idols, whether they’re open about it or keeping their sexuality private, that concept doesn’t exist at all in North Korea. A defector from the country explained why.
When given a chance to ask a North Korean defector, Harry, anything they were curious about, someone wondered if an LGBT community existed in the isolated country. Harry denied the idea, “In North Korea, there is no concept of…no terms of gay.”
Instead, it was seen as abnormal in the eyes of North Koreans. Harry revealed, “They think that is [a] disease.”
Jang Yeong Jin, North Korea’s “only openly gay defector,” also confirmed the public’s thoughts. He told BBC, “In North Korea, if a man says he doesn’t like a woman, people think he’s unwell.” It’s why it took Jang Yeong Jin a while to discover what homosexuality was and fully realize it was his identity.
And the rare North Korean citizens who do express their sexuality in a different form than heterosexuality are not met with acceptance. Two lesbians were publicly executed in North Korea with the excuse of being “badly influenced by capitalism from Japan and brought corruption of public morals.”
Watch the full interview below: