[Serious] Redditors who have been to North Korea, what was your experience?

I was present at a local storytelling show 7 months ago. People share true, yet interesting stories each month with the audience. This is not my own, but the story of an Asian woman. As best as I can remember it, in short version.

Her father had relatives in North Korea. The two of them were going to visit these relatives. Upon entering, they were required to go on a 'tour' and see a giant statue of the great leader. They were expected to bow before it, and never speak ill of him. This was made very very clear. When they finally got to see the family everyone was very very happy.

Soon it was dinner time and they all sat down. Once the woman and her father had began eating, she realized that they were the only two doing so. (It was a very small, simple, yet good meal). Their relatives had saved and special prepared this for their arrival, but they were so poor they had nothing left for themselves. At first she said she felt bad, and stopped. Then, she thought about it for a moment. They were proud to be able to serve this to them. She should show her gratitude by eating, and honoring their sacrifice. So that's what she did, she finished eating it, and made sure to thank them.

There was minimal blankets for sleeping, and the house was very very small for the number of people who lived in it. They lit a candle at night. There's more details but I don't remember well. This family that lived there basically had nothing. Their possessions were so few it baffled her.

When she left, the goodbyes were tearful. She left being almost everything she brought with her. All her clothes, except the ones she wore. All the makeup she brought, her hairbrush, nail clippers, anything they could use. Since for her, it was easy to replace. Her father did the same. The family was beyond grateful, and they had to hide some of it for fear of having it taken away. Their time there was limited, and just as they had arrived, they were escorted away from the 'house'. This was by people dressed in military uniform. They had to pay their respects to the leader before departing. She said she loves their family there even after only getting to know them for such a short time.

/r/AskReddit Thread