Nevertheless in a country overwhelmed by electricity shortages, fun was often overshadowed by the threat of electricity vanishing and Kang says sometimes it was not possible to do stuff for days because there was no power.
What’s more, he says if the government found you using heating during these periods, you could be sent to a Labour Camp.
“There is one bowling alley in Pyongyang but I only went once because it was very expensive.
They only accept American dollars which I had got from selling stuff on the black market,” he recalls.
While these might sound like run-of-the-mill adolescent coming of age exploits, these activities took on a rather different form for Jimmin Kang in North Korea.
“Everyone aged between 15 and 30 has to be in the union.
I taught people North Korean culture and encouraged them not to listen to American pop music or watch dramas from South Korea and China”.
However, on this particular day, even these past-times were off limits.
Observed on 9 September every year, Independence Day is a public holiday which marks the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and its liberation from the Soviet occupation in 1948.