North Korea Won Old 1000
I bought this banknote from a North Korean volleyball player on a train in Russia in 2009. He was with his team, going to play in Khabarovsk.
I later went to North Korea on a tour from China in 2010. On that trip, I visited the birthplace of Kim Il-Sung. That is the same place shown on the back of this banknote!
Yes, I have been to North Korea. Everything that I think is important in life (Jesus and technology) is illegal there! So I thought it would be a fascinating experience. My English-language Bible wasn’t confiscated at the border, and I wasn’t arrested. I did have to leave my iPhone behind, but that policy changed in January 2013. Google Maps had North Korea as a completely blank map until 2013 as well. Ordinary North Koreans still aren’t allowed to have access to the Internet, however.
I later worked with North Korean refugees in Daegu, and could talk a lot about that. I was first interested in North Korea in about 2004, after hearing that it is the most persecuting country in the world according to Open Doors. In 2008, I went to Korean Campus Crusade for Christ’s Vision Conference in San Diego, and met Eunice Bae, who was wearing a t-shirt saying Liberty in North Korea. I helped promote and organise LiNK film screenings of Crossing, Seoul Train, and Hiding – three excellent documentaries about North Korean refugees – in California, the UK, and Vancouver.