The 25-year-old defector held his very first media interview since his daring escape last year, according to Japanese publication Sankei Shimbun via AsiaOne.
“Inside the North, people, and especially the younger generation, are indifferent to each other, politics, and their leaders, and there is no sense of loyalty,” Oh told the media. He said that the younger generations feel “indifferent” to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
“Probably 80 per cent of my generation is indifferent and has no loyalty,” he said. “It is natural to have no interest nor loyalty since the hereditary system is taken as a given, regardless of its inability to feed people.” The defector also denied reports that he was wanted for murder in North Korea.
While speaking to the media, Oh recounted the events prior to his escape from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). He said that after having some troubles with his friends, Oh started drinking, and as he was about to return to his post, the soldier decided to break through the checkpoint. Fearing execution, Oh reached to the decision to just keep going.
“I feared I could be executed if I went back so I crossed the border,” he said, adding that he doesn’t feel any regret about defecting.
“I really felt that we were on the verge of war with the US,” Oh, whose identity was confirmed by Japanese officials, said referencing to the tension between the United States and North Korea last year. “The tension (that I felt) trickled down from the top.”
In his interview with the media, Oh said that he understands why his comrades shot at him during his defection to the South.
“If they didn’t shoot they would face heavy punishment,” he said. “So if I was them, I would have done the same.”