A North Korean defector has opened up about the hellish life she and millions of others endured in the hermit state regime.
Yeonmi Park, who flew fled to the US with her mother in 2007, has described the lack of love and friendship in North Korean society, and the harrowing sights of seeing people starve to death at the hands of the Supreme Leader.
Park said no one had friends, everyone was considered a "comrade" and expressing emotions was looked down upon.
The only affection anyone ever showed was for the supreme leader, and she said even her parents never told her they loved her.
Speaking to the New York Post, the now 26-year-old, who is a human rights activist, has described the current North Korean regime as a modern-day holocaust.
"What you need to know about North Korea is that it's not like other countries like Iran or Cuba.
"In those countries, you have some kind of understanding that they are abnormal, they are isolated and the people are not safe."
"But North Korea has been so completely purged from the rest of the world, it's literally a hermit kingdom. When I was growing up there, I didn't know that I was isolated, I didn't know that I was praying to a dictator."
Park and her sister were taught the late supreme leader Kim Jong Il and his son and current leader Kim Jong-un were god-like and could read people's minds.
She explained the propaganda and tales made citizens too scared to think negatively in case they were punished.
School life was brutal, according to Park, who says students are forced to do "criticism sessions" where they attack and find faults in classmates.
She said it was designed to create division.
About 40 per cent of the population are starving and facing food shortages, something often hidden by the regime.
Park said she grew up having to eat insects to survive. After seeing both her uncle and grandmother die from starvation, she says the Kim family are to blame for the death of millions.
The 26-year-old said it was "normal" to see people dying on the streets.
"You'd see so many people just dying. It was something normal for us to see the dead bodies on the street. It was a normal thing for me. I never thought that was something unusual.
"I have visited slums in Mumbai, I have visited slums in other countries, but nothing is like North Korea because of North Korean starvation, it's a systematic starvation by a country that chose to starve us.
"North Korea spends billions of dollars to make this nuke test system. If they would spend just 20 per cent of what they spent on making nuclear weapons, nobody would have to die in North Korea from hunger but the regime chose to make us hungry."
Park and her mother fled in China. Her mother was raped by human traffickers before they were both sold to Chinese men for less than $300.
Park's father was also smuggled across the border but later died of cancer.
Christian missionaries then helped Park and her mother to escape to Mongolia before finding refuge in South Korea where they were reunited with Park's sister.
In 2014, she moved to New York and spoke out against Kim Jong-un.
As a consequence, many of her relatives soon disappeared.
"I don't know if they've been executed or sent to prison camps, so I'm still not free. Even after I went through all of that to be free, I'm not free to dictators there. So it's a very emotional thing for me."