Alexander KAN. Lasting Call: My Return to North Korea
It was precisely this evil force I thought about when last summer, in 2012, I found out that my sister and I would cross the ocean to North Korea, to the birthplace of our father. His name was Kan Ho Eun. He was a citizen of North Korea, graduated with a degree in Chemistry from Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, took part in the Korean War from 1950-1953, and later was sent to study at Leningrad University as a graduate student, where he met my mother, a Soviet student named Iskra Choi. There, in Leningrad, they got married, and there my sister Anna was born. After finishing graduate school, my father returned with his family to Pyongyang in 1956, where I was born in 1960. But when I turned one, the political relations between the USSR and DPRK, after Khruschev’s famous denunciation of Stalin’s cult of personality, became so complicated that many Soviet citizens working in Korea began to leave the country. Among them was my mother, who having decided it one day, took us, the children, into her arms and returned home. Since then, I had never seen my father, and knew nothing about him except that he had a new family and that he died at a very young age.