Why You Should Never Travel to North Korea


the tourism to North Korea has reportedly increased dramatically in the last few years and I feel really really guilty for that and I’m very sorry let me give you a bit of my background I come from this tiny European country called Lithuania which is occupied by the Soviet Union for almost 50 years the regime collapsed in 1994 years before I was born but growing up I was really curious about the lives of my parents and grandparents had to lead in the Union and I really wanted to see it firsthand so at the young age of 21 I decided to pay over $2,000 for a week-long trip to North Korea with the hopes of getting a glimpse of life in a similar surrounding however all I ended up seeing as any other tourist was a very well orchestrated show of the cherry-pick destinations in the country alongside my well twin local guides without any freedom to explore anything on my own after the trip I made two videos about my life in North Korea both of which went completely viral and got over 10 million views each my goal was never to encourage North Korean tourism but since those two videos became some of the most popular that it was about North Korea on the Internet I feel like they actually played my part in encouraging more people to go there and I really hope I can fix that you see when I first went to North Korea as a 21 year old I never really thought about the implications of that trip however after my first video went live a lot of people began asking me whether you know I felt bad about having gone to North Korea and at first as most Duras I guess I was very defensive of that topic and and I kept saying well you know there’s so many countries with whose governments I also don’t agree with but that does not mean you know I shouldn’t travel there right and so I said yes of course the North Korean government is certainly not the best but should that mean I shouldn’t go there and I was sort of happy with that answer as once again most tourists seemed to be these days however as time went by I understood that my comparison was was totally wrong because traveling to North Korea is a fundamentally different thing I’ll give you an example let’s see there is a country with whose government you do not really agree with and you go there as a test so traveling around that country obviously spend money in a lot of different places and obviously a tiny portion of that probably makes its way to the government but most of the money ends up in the pockets of the local people but the difference here is that North Korea has such a tight grip on literally the whole society that it’s absolutely uncompelled to any country in the world my one week-long tour to North Korea cost me two thousand US dollars and that did not include you know the souvenirs that I bought and some of the some of the attractions that weren’t included in my packets and stuff so as a result I ended up staying quite a bit more than two thousand dollars for one week you know how much of that money ended up in the pockets of the local people probably none some of it went to the agencies that are organising tours to North Korea and probably most of it ended up directly in the government and then the question of course is so what does you know the government do with the money the United Nations says that the North Korean citizens live under systematic widespread and gross human rights violations here are just a few of them one the state controls everything in actively spies on its citizens using a vast surveillance and informer network to North Korea’s media is arguably the most tightly controlled in the world North Korean citizens get all their news entertainment and information from state media and citizens can be sent to prison for viewing reading or listening to content provided by international media outlets 3 there is no freedom of religion everyone is indoctrinated to treat the Kim family almost as something to worship for according to a report by the US State Department there are between 80,000 and 120,000 people in prison in the North people can be jailed for almost anything with crimes ranging from watching a South Korean DVD to trying to defect 5 a significant majority of North Koreans undertake unpaid labor at some point in their lives according to a report by the Human Rights Watch despite these issues there’s still a lot of people that end up going to North Korea as I did as well because North Korea’s is probably the most secretive country in the world the exact tourist data is impossible to get but the estimates range from tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting North Korea every single year I know it’s very ironic for me to say this because I’ve been there myself but please before going to North Korea think twice if you still do not think there’s there’s something fundamentally wrong with the North Korean regime and you know you’re considering going there I want to show you a very short excerpt from my from my last North Korea video where I’m comparing my life in in the North and the South about the differences of those two countries take a look every single day that I spent in South Korea I couldn’t stop thinking about how weird it was that even though just a few dozen years ago the Korean people lived in the same country under the same conditions these days they were leading such dramatically different lifestyles I kept asking myself why the people in the North needed special permits to travel in their own country and going abroad was completely impossible while people in the South could freely go to any place they wished both inside and outside their country why was the whole power in the North concentrated in one person’s hands was considered to be a God whereas in the South people had the power to elect their own leaders and dismiss them if they didn’t do a good job and why were the people in the North not allowed to freely interact and share their thoughts with me while the people in the South could do whatever the heck they wanted [Music] [Laughter] [Music] seeing these differences firsthand broke my heart why has life become so different for the Korean people in just a few generations if this excerpt or all the things I’ve said in this video with us first still do not convince you that maybe going to North Korea isn’t really the best idea ever I want to tell you a one man’s story that had a very very very big impact on me as you probably know there are literally thousands of people that have actually escaped North Korea and created you know new lives for themselves in either South Korea or quite a few other countries around the world and obviously some of them have written these absolutely incredible books that are just absolute eyeopener’s and you know very very hard to believe a link to my three favorite books about North Korea in the description box down below but right now I want to very briefly tell you about the best book about a North Korean refugee I’ve read in my entire life that is called escape from camp 14 dong-hyuk shin is the only known person to have been born and raised in a North Korean labor camp because his family was imprisoned there for three generations free supposed political crime by someone in his family that was then many years ago as you can imagine shins childhood in the labor camp was incredibly hard he had to work day in and day out in ruthless conditions and food was so scarce that he was basically starving all the time many years later he risked his life to scheme from the camp having faced many dangers on the way he ultimately managed to run away to China where he had to work on various farms in the countryside years later he was lucky enough to finally make his way to South Korea where he lived to tell his story to millions of people around the world now you know reading a book that’s a New York Times bestseller about this you know really famous person is obviously one thing it you might think it’s true or not true and it might impact you or not but you know it’s it’s a pretty different thing but actually meeting that person in real life and getting to talk to him you know one-on-one and and actually hear his stories is a completely different thing I really wish a lot more people actually you know managed to have these experiences where they could actually meet one of the North Korean refugees whether shin or you know the thousands of other people and could actually hear their stories you know in in real life and then you know a question of whether you should go to North Korea and spend money supporting that regime becomes so much more real that’s that’s pretty much all I wanted to say today and and I know that I’m probably putting myself at risk for doing this video but I really do think that is the right thing to do if you’re thinking of visiting North Korea yourself please think about the potential negative implications of your trip because traveling in North Korea is is a fundamentally different thing from any country in the world because most of the money you pay there goes directly to the government with which apparently they can do pretty much anything they desire thank you very much for watching the whole video it really means so much to me that you also care about this topic let me know what you thought about this video in the comment section down below and if you want to help me spread the word share this video with a hashtag why North Korea and and tell your friends about it thank you have a wonderful day and hopefully we can make the world a bit of a better place together thank you so much see you later [Music]

100 Replies to “Why You Should Never Travel to North Korea

  1. Thank you for watching the whole video, you legend! Let me know what you think about traveling to North Korea in the comments and make sure to check out the best book I ever read about a North Korean refugee, my friend Donghuyk Shin: https://amzn.to/2laEJI2

  2. It musn’t be your mistake but North Korean is absolutely the most insane, bizarre and enigmatic country in the world so I also think If some people are concering to go to the North Korean, they must rethink about their own decisions from the Korean perspective)

  3. For the same reasons I will never visit another red state (or at least the South), I will never visit North Korea; I would feel dirty and extremely guilty spending my money in such a horrible place that benefits such horrible people. Fuck North Korea, and fuck the South.

  4. To be fair, I can already come up of several examples of how your criticisms of North Korea are equally valid for the US as well.

    1) Mass surveillance. Not only does the NSA track what I do, but Google also knows practically everything about anyone using it. Thus not only does my government monitor me, but so does a private corporation.

    2) Unpaid labor. Most college students at least, pretty much have to do some kind of unpaid internship to build up "experience" so they can even land a job.

    Now don't get me wrong, there is a huge difference in scale. At least with the points I currently brought up. But here are some other points that might convince others that the US is just as corrupt as North Korea in certain regards. Around 45% of US Prisoner are in for non-violent drug offenses. Furthermore, they are disproportionately minorities who get locked up for these non-violent drug offenses. Also, while the US houses around 4.4% of the world's population it has 22% of the world's prisoners, and many of these did no harm to others.

    My point in making this comment isn't to defend North Korea, but its to show that we have a huge double standard to countries like the United States that in some regards are comparable to North Korea.

  5. I honestly feel bad for the citizens of North Korea. They must endure the pain of dealing with the Kim regime. If anybody considers nuking NK think twice. It isn’t the peoples fault that Kim is such a bitch so don’t blame the people.

  6. If it makes you feel any better, most of the formal economy IS state owned. So that money that went to the government MIGHT have gone into local salaries for locals.

  7. South korea president support kim jong-un to keep his power, please pray for south korea. President moon wants s.k to be n.k

  8. Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to go there? Just watch one video and you’ll get more or less the same trip. Frankly it’s naive to think going there is no big deal but at least you changed your mind.

  9. South korea impeached the government. The korean translation is wrong. Please change translation 🙂 5:38
    영어 맞게 썼나요ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ
    한국은 탄핵을 했다. 한국어 번역이 잘못 되었다.

  10. pathetic troll who visited North Korea seeking attention and now making a shitty video for the same reason…. half of your subscribers are from your North Korea trip, and glad it popped up in my feed today, now i can subscribe this junk channel who is parroting same msm propganda.

  11. nobody gives shit about your shitty opinion on whether to visit a country or not. people are free to do whatever they want and shouldnt be affected by a troll who got most of his subscribers from North Korea trip now calling others not to do so coz he felt he needs to do a video about North Korea to save its crumbling ratings and dont know what to do. so he done this shit to attract more people to his shitty channel.

  12. lmao…. promoting shitty fake books written by celebrity defectors who are paid to lie….
    can tell your intelligence level by that…

  13. I don’t understand people’s fascination with going there if they have no genetic tie to the country. Just people doing entirely too much for some YouTube views. Literally risking their lives to go viral 😂

  14. I’m a south korean. Thank you for made this video.
    (My thought )Obviously north korean bormal life is more bad than whatever you guys think. I can’t see youtube and i can leave my comment and my idea but north korean people can’t. You guys can see this big difference already.

  15. Except North Korea is nothing like Soviet Lithuania I'm not even sure such a grotesque regime ever existed prior to NK
    And I'm kinda familiar with history of totalitarian regimes which makes it all the more scary

  16. E che cazzo avresti dimostrato? Pensa al tuo paese ai senza tetto, alle stragi, ai morte per overdose e la più grande popolazione carceraria, cambiate prima casa vostra

  17. Thank you for making this video. As I am a South Korean, I just wondering North Korean’s life and sightseeing. Your video was great and I felt so sadness..
    And I really agree with your opinion, Thank you for telling to viewers and your brave. Thank you so much!

  18. To see the other side of point of view from north korea other than this video, just click this link from Jaka Parker's youtube channel for more details: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzvCf_q10UZkUJE0lOav0ag/videos

  19. 이런 영상자체가 어떻게보면 우리한텐 그냥 의견을 말한 영상일수있지만..거기다 북한을 끼얹으면 목숨걸고찍은 영상이 되는 ㅠㅠ부디 몸 조심하시고 안전하시길 기원합니다🙏

  20. This is why i never watched your travel to north korea videos. Because of all the things going on is more than just ‘a government you don’t agree on’ so i am glad that you are redeeming yourself

  21. So if Area 51 (as training) past positvly then our main mission Storming North Korea comes to a test…

    THIS IS JUST A JOKE

  22. Suggestion for other videos – maybe if there were Lithuanian subtitles on the video, it would bring more followers to this channel and help a headless person like me who does not speak English … 🙂

  23. Jų valdžios tikslas yra visapusiškai izoliuoti šalį nuo viso likusio pasaulio tuo pačiu suteikiant sau galimybę toliau tyčiotis iš paprastų piliečių… Kuo daugiau ten lankysis žmonių iš tvarkingų demokratinių šalių tuo labiau mes suprasime kas ten iš tikrųjų vyksta, pamatys visa tai žmonės savo akimis, poveikis bus stipresnis. Nes nemanau kad kas nors iš tiesų tiki jų vietinių gidų smegenų pudrinimu ir skleidžiamais melais… bet už tai tuos pasibaistėtinus skurdo ir užguitmo vazidus gyvai išvys, nes juos tai sunkiai nuslepsi.

  24. I'm korean student ! i want to watch your video. Your video's topic is very nice 🙂
    When i watched your video, i realized a lot .
    i recommend your video to my korean friends

  25. Had I the chance to go to North Korea I don't think I would, it's a very inhospitable country and you're only allowed to see what the government wants, you're also putting yourself in danger

  26. 본인에게는 먼 타국인데도 불구하고 분단역사에 대해 관심 가져주셔서 정말 감사해요!! 자국민인 제가 오히려 더 관심을 적게 가지고 지냈는지 괜히 부끄러워지는 순간이였습니다. 영상 잘봤습니다♥♥

  27. please don’t go in North Korea. you will be in danger if u go again. there are so many beautiful countries in this world.

  28. You are a shill for the Globalist Elite who want to overthrow the North Korean government so they can install a Rothschild controlled central bank! It is not about human rights! That is just a false pretext for an American invasion!

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