The entrepreneur and travel blogger made it to South Korea one year after that eye-opening trip to the “Hermit Kingdom.” He was shocked by how differently citizens of North and South Korea lead their lives.
“Why were the people in the North not allowed to freely interact and share their thoughts with me, while the people in the South could do whatever the heck they wanted?” he asks in a video he made comparing the two countries. “Seeing these differences firsthand broke my heart. Why has life become so different for the Korean people in just a few generations?”
The contrast was particularly poignant as Laukaitis visited North Korea at the same age and around the same time as as Otto Warmbier. Warmbier, an American college student who was arrested after being accused of allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel, died a week after North Korean authorities returned him to the US in a coma.
Here are photos from Laukaitis’ travels that show just how drastic the differences between North and South Korea are.