Until April, Lim Ji-hyun had been a modest television celebrity in South Korea, talking to the audience about the country she knew best: North Korea. She even had her own online fan club, indicating that she was among the relatively few North Korean defectors who had successfully adjusted to life in the capitalist South.
“Every single day of my life in the South was a hell,” Ms. Lim, 26, said in a videotaped interview uploaded on the North Korean government-run propaganda website Uriminzokkiri. “When I was alone in a dark, cold room, I was heartbroken and I wept every day, missing my fatherland and my parents back home.”
Ms. Lim — or Jeon Hye-sung, as she was called in the North — said she returned to “the bosom of the fatherland” last month and was now living with her parents in her hometown.
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