Pearl Kim Hua left North Korea to work in a Chinese factory. She is determined to return to North Korea once she earns enough money. Pearl says that the lifestyle in China cannot compare to the lifestyle in North Korea, where everything is very limited. She, like many others, believes the official line that this hardship is part of an effort to prepare the country for an imminent foreign attack. “Most people want the war to start, so that those who will live can live, and those who will die will die. We want the war to start now so we can get on with our lives.”
(Pearl’s name has been changed to protect her identity.) Image by Tomas van Houtryve. China, 2013.