North Korean soldier hopes for unification soon

ST correspondent Walter Sim with Captain Han Guk Chol, who asked for a photo on learning Mr Sim is a Singapore journalist who covered the Panmunjom summit in April.
ST correspondent Walter Sim with Captain Han Guk Chol, who asked for a photo on learning Mr Sim is a Singapore journalist who covered the Panmunjom summit in April.ST PHOTO: LIM YAN LIANG

PANMUNJOM (North Korea) • Captain Han Guk Chol's stony no-nonsense demeanour comes from having spent 14 years in the Korean People's Army, eight of them at the truce village of Panmunjom.

But his steely facade cracked and his eyes lit up on finding out he was speaking to a Singapore journalist who was in Seoul in April to cover the first inter-Korea summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 30, 2018, with the headline 'N. Korean soldier hopes for unification soon'. Print Edition | Subscribe