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N K School Textbooks Attracted Crowds During 2-Day Festival

LFNKR an exhibitor at One World Festival, Osaka, Japan (Feb. 3-4, 2007)

More than 100 NGOs and NPOs in Japan joined the One World Festival held for two days at Osaka International Communications Center (Feb. 3rd and 4th). Many groups participated in the event under the theme “Bringing the world closer through education, interaction and mutual assistance.” The groups are working to help resolve today’s global issues of environmental destruction, poverty, repression of human rights, ethnic conflict, and refugees. Approximately 12,600 guests visited the exhibition during the 2-day event.

Our group, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) displayed a number of items from everyday life in North Korea and continually played documentary videotapes featuring several of our foster children as well as North Korean orphans or street children. We also played and sold the Japanese version of the Seoul Train documentary DVD.

LFNKR members staffing the booth were surprised by the high degree of interest in the near-crumbling school textbooks from North Korea. The books attracted consistently large crowds, and many of the visitors requested permission to photograph the books (see photos below).


LFNKR booth at One World Festival


The textbooks shown below were received from several North Korean refugees whom LFNKR helped reach Japan. Until the 1980’s the country used ordinary pulp paper to print textbooks, but when the government could no longer afford pulp they began using paper made from corn husks (excluding the outermost husks). The ink used for printing is of extremely low quality. The textbooks are re-used for many years, thus the serious worn and tattered condition. Visitors had to handle the books very carefully to keep the books from coming apart.

School textbooks currently used in North Korea

English textbook: Table of Contents page

English Textbook: Dedication Page
It reads:
"The Respected Leader
Generalissimo Kim Il Sung
Will Always Be With Us"

English Textbook: Second Dedication Page
It reads:
"Thank You, the Great Leader
Marshal Kim Jong Il !"

English Textbook: Lesson One
"Listen and say:   Hello !"

English Textbook: Lesson Two
"Listen and say:   Good-bye !"

English Textbook: Lesson One
"Listen and say:   Good afternoon !"

Math Textbook: Elementary school

Worn Out Shoes

These were being worn by a NK refugee
when we met to help him to freedom
during one of our rescue operations.

Packages of Corn Noodles

A few months ago, an LFNKR staff member brought back a case of corn noodles from Yanji, China to sell at the One World Festival. The noodles are one of the most popular foods in North Korea. Ethnic Koreans in China sell them widely.

Are They Telling Us the Truth?
Brutality Beyond Belief

This book, co-published by LFNKR in English, contains eye witness testimony by North Korean defectors who have survived unbelievable
brutality in the labor camps of North Korea. (Available for donation of US$20 or more).

Most recent issue of the printed Japanese language newsletter that LFNKR mails to members in Japan.