Famine to feast: North Korean defectors awestruck by food choices in South

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Hermit state has struggled to feed its people for more than two decades but those who escape across border face different challenge

Lee Oui-ryuk was on the verge of dying of starvation when he stole a block of tofu in a market in North Korea at the height of a nationwide famine. Too weak to run away after he swiped the food, Lee continued eating as the seller cried and beat him with a metal rod, staining the white tofu red with his blood.

At nine years old he knew the theft would end in violence, but in his head he repeated over and over: “Even if you are beaten, keep eating.” He eventually passed out and when he awoke, took a morsel that remained on his hand to his sister.

Related: From Pyongyang with love: defectors find a perfect match with South Korean men

Related: ‘Forever strangers’: the North Korean defectors who want to go back

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Source: north-korea
Link : Famine to feast: North Korean defectors awestruck by food choices in South

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