Three North Korean Escapees

Three North Korean Escapees

MSU Ballroom. Put on by the MSU Leadership Institute.

Kobe was the lead organizer.

April 22, 2013

Mother and two young adult daughters

450 people in attendance

“God saved us, his miraculous power.”

“I want to thank God first…”

“I am glad to share my testimony…”

“I have spoken in many churches but this is the first time to give my testimony in such a public event.”

Their family was eight in number, now they are only three. One daughter may be still alive in human trafficking subjection.

“America is heaven.”

North Korea is “a socialist nation.”

They spoke of government purges.

You can be imprisoned for a slip of the tongue, maybe something uncomplimentary about Kim. Other family members go to prison along with you. Some families have three generations in the prison system, with children being born in captivity.

They want God to move the hearts of all to pray for freedom for North Koreans. “I appeal to all of you…” It is their wish that NK would collapse.

Instead of Ten Commandments, they are required to obey the Ten Rules, revealed by the dictator. Children call the dictator “Dear Father” when they get yearly candy on the ruler’s birthday. In schools they are taught loyalty to the party and its leader through brainwashing. “Idol worship, of Kim, is instilled from age three.”

People are not free to travel. The only reasons allowed for travel are funerals and weddings. None but the elite go to the capitol city. People have to participate in self-criticism meetings, like in other communist countries in recent decades.

The regime freezes children to death. They have no homes and parents. Orphanages are cruel where the strong children hassle and take things from the weak, younger ones.

From 1994-1999 three million died of starvation.

Two boys in an orphanage looked about eight years of age to the youngest daughter when she was twelve; she was shocked to find out that they were eighteen.

These three have been in the U.S. for five years. The mother knew that the family would dwindle to less than three if she did not take extreme measures, so they made four crossings into China but were repatriated three times after Chinese police found them out. In China, hiding and living on the margins, the girls tended sheep and pigs. Back in NK, the girls had to pretend to be without parents and not to know each other. The mother told them where to meet up and they always were reunited. Finally, on their fourth escape, the UN High Commissioner on Refugees in China took their case. A Christian pastor in Seattle spent $10,000 for their move to the US. The younger daughter manages a home health care business, I think in Washington, D.C., in which the older daughter works. The older daughter has a NK defector aid agency. The younger daughter wants to be a lawyer. She was born in 1991. She works all day, then studies English from 6:30-10 pm.

They suffered beatings in prison and starvation. In hiding, dozens of people were crowded in a very small rom. Insects plagued them. They could not cry out over their pains, or they would be found. People bit their tongues and lips to keep silent. During one period, they were weakened by having nothing to eat for ten days. They only had water. A dead mouse was discovered. Grandma roasted it. The sizzling fat aroma was delicious; the mouse tasted like a feast.

The mother read the words of the Christian hymn, From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.

From Greenland’s icy mountains,

From India’s coral strand;

Where Afric’s sunny fountains

Roll down their golden sand

Salvation, oh salvation!

The joyful sound proclaim,

Till earth’s remotest nation

Has heard Messiah’s name.

“Do not send food or medicine aid through official channels as it only goes to party officials and the elite, or allows the government to stockpile for war. These items do not reach average people.”

They have numerous nurses, (universal access!), but little medicine. All the medicine goes to a favored few, party elites.

They said Americans cannot understand the warped mentality of NK’s dictators who take advantage of American gullibility in aid programs.

Many of tonight’s attendees probably had little idea of the desperation experienced under that socialist government. The moving witness we heard demolishes the arguments  doubters of free enterprise, property rights, individualism, restrained government and American exceptionalism. Their story was spellbinding, the room was silent. Likely some tears fell.

North Korea is a socialist nation.

“America is heaven.”


2 Responses

  1. I don’t think anyone disputes that North Korea is a hell hole and a lucky few are able to escape. But it is unclear to me just what is being proposed or criticized about US policy towards NK. Should we withhold all humanitarian aid so that we guarantee that those who cannot escape starve to death? In your summary, it’s also unclear what you mean to say. These refugees find America to be Heaven. yet you suggest that we America is a socialist nation because there are differences of opinion in a vibrant democracy on subjects like free enterprise, property rights, etc.? Perhaps you should adopt the perspective of these refugees.. that America IS as close as we can get to Heaven on earth, an much of what makes it so is the free debates that characterize our nation.

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