North Korean tour guide offers startling insight into what his country REALLY thinks about ‘hostile’ America


An American backpacker travelling through North Korea asked his tour guide about the country’s relationship with the United States – and was left stunned at the response.

His guide appeared to reflect the viewpoint of the citizens within the totalitarian regime as many viewers pointed out that the guide’s narrative wasn’t quite reflective of the whole story.

‘A once in a lifetime capture of a North Korean party member explaining their perception of the United States,’ declared the clip, shared by travel content creator Jesse Romberg, who posts under the username @homeless.backpacker.

‘What would you say is the common perception of, let’s say, the United States in North Korea, in DPRK?’ Jesse implored his unnamed guide – with DPRK short for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is what the nation calls itself.

On a tour of North Korea, content creator Jesse Romberg decided to ask his state-appointed tour guide about the country’s relationship to the United States

In Jesse's Instagram Highlights reel from his trip to North Korea, he explained he accessed the country via Chinese tourist agency

In Jesse’s Instagram Highlights reel from his trip to North Korea, he explained he accessed the country via Chinese tourist agency 

‘Up to now, we have no history of invasion. Korea – DPRK – has no history of invasion,’ the unnamed man began.

‘[America] have invaded so many countries. But there’s no history of invasion [from DPRK],’ he continued.

‘We didn’t do any harmful things to America but America invaded our country. 

‘Still they’re in the southern part of our country. And still they’re pushing hostile policies against our country, and sanctions against our country,’ he continued.

‘So what we want to say [to the US] is leave our country, lift all sanctions – then we can recover relations… Relations between American and our country will get better.’

Also shedding light on the guide’s comments, Jesse explained in another Instagram Story that North Korea doesn’t recognize separate nations of North and South Korea, adding the regime sees Korea as one country, with the US ‘occupying the southern part of Korea.’ 

South Korea is internationally recognized as an independent nation.

In speaking about the ‘invasion’ of Korea, the guide is referring to the Korean War which began when North Korea, led by Kim Il-sung and backed by the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea in 1950.

His guide appeared to reflect the viewpoint of the citizens within the totalitarian regime as many viewers pointed out that the guide's narrative wasn't quite reflective of the whole story

His guide appeared to reflect the viewpoint of the citizens within the totalitarian regime as many viewers pointed out that the guide’s narrative wasn’t quite reflective of the whole story 

North Korea has been led by the Kim family since 1948, with the current Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un marking the third generation of ruler

North Korea has been led by the Kim family since 1948, with the current Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un marking the third generation of ruler

Meanwhile, in 1948, the United States had installed Syngman Rheea as South Korea’s first president, who also served as an anti-communist leader in the region. 

Given the Cold War-era power struggles, North Korea’s invasion of South Korea was also seen by the United States as an existential threat to democracy.

Ten days after the invasion, the United States descended on the Korean peninsula. The United Nations also got involved, backing South Korea, and China sent troops backing North Korea.

The ensuing struggle took the lives of close to three million Koreans, with at least half of those being civilian deaths. Close to a million Chinese soldiers were also killed, while the US tallied 54,000 casualties.

When a truce was called in 1953, the border between North and South Korea remained essentially unchanged. 

South Korea continues to be an ally of the US, and the US maintains a strong military presence in the country.

Meanwhile, the Kim family has continued to rule over North Korea, with Kim Il-sung’s grandson, Kim Jong Un, currently reigning as Supreme Leader.

The country is viewed as one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes. Citizens cannot leave the country without the permission of the government, on punishment of death.

Speaking out against the government can also be punished by death – making it the prospect of questioning one of its citizens about international relations on camera rather fraught. 

The ‘sanctions’ on North Korea that the guide referred to have mainly been upheld as the country has insisted on developing its nuclear program.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations: ‘North Korea’s leadership, under successive Kims, considers nuclear weapons the sole means to guarantee its survival. 

‘[The capital city of] Pyongyang points to US military bases in the region, as well as the war games the United States regularly holds with its allies, as a threat to its existence.’

Some viewers bickered in the comments section of Jesse’s TikTok about the veracity of the guide’s statements, with most seemingly readily buying into the guide’s narrative painting North Korea in a more benevolent light. 

‘Really good to know another side of the story,’ one wrote, with another echoing: ‘Well said. Honestly, that’s a viewpoint I never considered.’

Another pushed back: ‘It was a CIVIL WAR, educate yourself.’

In Jesse’s Instagram Highlights reel from his trip to North Korea, he explained he accessed the country via Chinese tourist agency. 

On the train ride from China to North Korea, Jesse recalled that he didn’t see a single car, stating: ‘Every person has only a bicycle. And run down buildings, with children bathing in brown river water.’ 

It’s thought that around 60 per cent of North Korea’s nearly 26 million residents live below the poverty line.  

‘Now fast forward. Suddenly we are in Dubai,’ Jesse continued, referring to the opulence of Pyongyang.

‘It’s important to note that this was a full on propaganda tour,’ he wrote of the experience, adding, ‘The government creates the entire itinerary and shows you only what they allow to show.’ 



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