Residents can get an updated version of e-ID via an identity authentication app developed by the police, set a password for it, and scan their physical ID cards on the platform.This e-ID is more useful and can be used for things like business registration.As the executioners raised their weapons, Yeonmi covered her face.But she looked up again, just in time to see an explosion of blood and the woman’s body crumple to the ground. ‘It was the first time I felt terrified.’ Yeonmi is recounting the horrific incident over a milkshake in Seoul, the ultra-modern capital of South Korea that is only 35 miles from the North Korean border but, with its luxury cars and 10-lane motorways, feels like another planet.Her crime was having watched South Korean films and lending the DVDs to friends.Her punishment in this most paranoid of dictatorships was death by firing squad.The trial is set to extend to the entire Guangdong province and other regions from January next year.
He kept his family afloat through an illegal sideline in selling gold, silver and nickel (which he had acquired through middle men in Pyongyang, the capital) to Chinese over the border. I couldn’t believe it.’ Yeonmi’s father was luckier than many North Koreans who were spirited off to the country’s Soviet-style gulags, never to return.
‘But they didn’t succeed.’ Initially shielded from the effects of the famine, Yeonmi’s world started to disintegrate when, in 2002, her father was arrested for illegal trading. Yeonmi’s father was taken to a prison near Pyongyang and given a 17-year sentence. After three years Yeonmi’s father managed to bribe his way out of jail. Shortly after his arrest they were forced to move from a comfortable house in Hyesan to a minuscule apartment.
Her mother visited him once but that was enough to see the toll that the brutal torture had taken on her husband. Guards placed sticks between his fingers and crunched them together. But by then he had been diagnosed with colon cancer. After his release they almost immediately began plotting their escape into China to start a new life.
She appears on South Korean television and uses Facebook, Twitter, Skype and We Chat to spread the word about the human rights abuses inside North Korea.
She has travelled the world to talk about her experiences.