North Korea’s class is called the “hostile class.” Who will be the “hostile class”?
I had been aiming for a newspaper reporter, police officer, or party leader since I was a little child, so I studied a lot more and got good results. However, during his college days, studying in China, which he had once offered, was put on hold.
After examining the reason, I found that my parents were from China. Just saying you were abroad during the revolution will make Songbun worse. (Asahi newspaper Aera editorial department, “Exiles from North Korea”)
I started dating boys with fathers from China. The child’s family said that we, too, were from Songbun, so we shouldn’t get along with her (Park Yong-mi, “The Choice to Live”)
Paternalism is also a remnant of Confucianism. If your parent’s Songbun is bad, it’s worse if you’re a father, and your child’s position will be worse. The author says, “If there were any southern people on my paternal side, I wouldn’t have been able to go to college.” (Kim Ki-sung, “Introduction to North Korea”
Despite his blood and sweat and contributing to the nation, Songbun sought to stand and couldn’t advance beyond Army Captain. It was a disaster that his grandfather’s brother’s son was a member of the Korean security forces during the Korean War. “I can’t promote my class even if I work hard. There should be something wrong.” A close friend in the department that maintained the documentary on Songbun, a soldier, said, “I would like to see the document to set my own goals.” I was asked to show a secret document with a bribe for one suit cloth. When I asked the HR department, “I have a problem with a distant relative, does it hinder my promotion?”
“If you work hard, it’s okay.”
At that time, Kim Jong Il advocated “poetic politics” and believed that, but it was no use. (Asahi newspaper Aera Editorial Department, op.cit.)
His maternal grandfather formed an anti-Communist organization called “Myolgong tuan” (meaning an organization that destroys Communists), and was shot and killed while he was active. My mother’s family was the most vicious molecule to be condemned.（”Carrot thief”）
His mother, Kumsk, was considered a counter-revolutionary because his paternal grandfather owned land during the Japanese rule.
Such stigma was passed on to the third generation, so when her mother was born in 1966, she was already considered a member of the hostile class and was excluded from elite privileges (Park Yong-mi, op.cit.)
Kim Il Sung has begun purging the rebels. All citizens were checked for loyalty to the state and the ingredients were recorded. Unfortunately, his grandfather told the investigator honestly that his father was a landlord in Onsong.
From that moment on, his grandfather was burdened with bad ingredients, and the prospect of becoming a Labor member and finding a good job was gone. Grandfather placed at Button Factory (ibid.)
In North Korea, low-income individuals are moved to rural areas.
Lower-class North Koreans were unable to live in Pyongyang, the exhibition city, or in the more comfortable southern climate, where the soil is rich and warm. (Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy:Ordinary Lives in North Korea)
Hostiles were barred from living near borders and coasts, less than 50 kilometers from Pyongyang and Kaesong, and less than 20 kilometers from other large cities. The hostile class meant that they would be deported to the northern desolate mountainous roads. (Andrey Lankov, North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea)
My father has been hiding the fact that his maternal aunt and his wife had fled to Korea from January to April 951 during the Korean War. However, in 1984, the National Security Service conducted a resident survey and the family was sent to a mine in Musan.
Until then, the house of Jeongdo Jeul, who lived in a family of three, was 15 tsubo with two rooms, a kitchen and a garden, a nearby villa of Kim Il Sung, and the neighborhood was also full of people with good ingredients . In Shimoyama, six households are squeezed into a single case, and the size of each family is only four tsubo. (Asahi newspaper Aera Editorial Department, op.cit.)
Therefore, the place of residence determines the status of a person.
In Hwanghae Province, near the Korean border, many were on the Korean side during the Korean War. “If you’re from Hwanghae Province, you’re unlikely to get a job.” Authorities have displaced the poor, especially those in Sonbgun, because the proportion of hostiles in Hwanghae Province is so high. It is to the north of the Jinjiang and Liangjiang roads, which are linked by the Namolin Mountains, and into the mountains of Hamgyongbuk-do. In contrast, people from Hamgyong-do, far away from the 38th parallel, fought the Korean War to the end near Kim Il Sung. So the hierarchy, Sonbgun, is generally good. That’s why her career is early. (Lee Yonghe, “North Korea: The Night of a Secret Assembly”)
Problems arise when marriage partners are at different levels.
It was discovered that his uncle’s daughter hid Songbun from her family in her marriage. The daughter expelled from her husband sent me a letter. The letter wrote a grudge against my home and said, “Please come to talk that your father is not a true brother.” Inevitably, I went to my uncle’s daughter’s wife and lied. My father and my uncle had the same last name, but when I was in Japan, I was able to say that I was just a brother-in-law. Since this incident, the relationship between my uncle’s house and my home has been completely disrupted. (Jang Sung Hee, Woman Who Abandoned Her Homeland)