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and you can't even watch it at home, you have to go and watch it in person if you're living in Pyongyang.'Even if you want to go to the toilet you can't, so we had to pee in our pants.' Hyeonseo openly regards her country of birth as 'the most horrible on earth' but she once thought it was the greatest, as many of her former compatriots still do.
The prominent defector, who has written a bestselling book about her extraordinary lifestory, even continued to believe her life was normal long after her school cancelled classes and forced students to watch a public execution when she was seven-years-old.'It was the first time in my life I saw a public execution,' she said. the hangings were scarier because they were closer to the crowds. I was too young to really know what was going on but I was scared that a man was dying in front of me, being strangled under the bridge.'There's a rule that the victim's immediate family and relatives have to stand at the very front to see their family member dying in front of them.' New life: From the safety of her new home in the South Korean capital of Seoul, where she has lived for eight years, Hyeonseo says her former compatriots are tricked into believing Kim commands the most powerful military force on earth Safe at last: 'I'd see dead bodies on the street by day and nights were a black hole,' she said of her young life in North Korea.
They are still proud of the army but they don't want to take part in these events.
'It is so tiring that it weakens your bones and joints...
They think North Korean weapons are the best in the world and they're very proud of them.
They believe they can protect the country from anyone.'She also revealed how the thousands who lined the streets and frantically waved flags at the annual Day Of The Sun parade are secretly 'sick and tired' of being forced to attend such events.
Escape from hell: Years after escaping through China by pretending to be Chinese and passing stringent tests on its history and culture, Hyeonseo helped her mother and brother to escape in an extraordinary feat of bravery New home: Hyeonseo brought her mother through China by pretending they were deaf and dumb to fool border guards.
'We always had power shortages in the country.' Pictured: Hyeonseo above with her mother Journey of desperation: In 1997, aged just 17, Hyeonseo trekked alone across the frozen Yalu River into China where she lived with distant relatives as an illegal immigrant for ten years before entering South Korea as refugee Ten times a year, she and her fellow pupils were pulled from their lessons and forced to stand in total silence among a crowd of thousands to watch someone killed for crimes they were too young to understand.
But it was not until the famine of 1995 when a 15-year-old Hyeonseo saw dead, emaciated bodies strewn across the streets of her home city of Hyesan, in Ryanggang Province, that she knew North Koreans were being lied to.'I'd see dead bodies on the street by day and nights were a black hole,' she explained.
you can't even watch it at home, you have to go and watch it in person if you're living in Pyongyang.
Even if you want to go to the toilet you can't, so we had to pee in our pants From the safety of her new home in the South Korean capital of Seoul, where she has lived for eight years, Hyeonseo says her former compatriots are tricked into believing Kim commands the most powerful military force on earth.'The weapons they paraded this time were all new,' she said.
And this weekend Kim Jong-un paraded new ballistic rockets, tanks and his never before seen Special Forces units through the streets of Pyongyang in a show of strength against Trump, who has refused to rule out a preemptive strike should Kim reach for the nuclear button.