North Korea: Meet the asylum seeker who learned what homosexuality is, and came out as gay

A gay defector from North Korea has revealed he had no idea what homosexuality was until he left the country. The reclusive Asian country is renowned for its secrecy, warmongering, and the oppressive rule of the Kim dynasty, currently headed by 33-year-old Kim Jong-un, who claims to have cured AIDS and hangovers.

Given the country’s appalling human rights abuses, LGBT rights are seldom on the radar – but the country’s officials are no stranger to homophobia, hitting out at the gay man heading a UN human rights panel as a “disgusting old lecher” in 2014.

North Korean citizen Jang Yeong-jin had never even heard of homosexuality, and was confused to find he “felt no sexual attraction” to his wife. It was only after escaping the country and fleeing to South Korea that he realised he was gay – and came to terms with who he is. Jang, who has recently written a memoir, A Mark of Red Honour, opened up about his experiences in an interview with the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (EAHRNK)  

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