‘Father of defectors’ on lifestyles after North Korea


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Seoul, South Korea  Spherical 31,000 North Koreans have defected into the South since the pause of the Korean Battle in 1953.

Nearly seventy one percent of those defectors are female, most in their 20s and 30s.

Handiest a couple of purchase the most poor route thru the Korean Demilitarized Zone that a North Korean soldier took uninteresting final year.

Somewhat a couple of the North Koreans defect via the long and dear drag that takes them into China after crossing the Yalu River.

This drag takes the oldsters to China’s southern border into Vietnam and Laos earlier than they advance in Thailand.

They are on the general flown into South Korea from Thailand. Some even decide to head to the US, basically based completely on Liberty in North Korea, an NGO basically based completely in the US and South Korea.

But their arrival into South Korea does now not signal an pause to their worries and problems.

Within the principle phase of the collection, Al Jazeera speaks to Kim Young Hwa, sixty four, who fled North Korea in 1988, fashioned the North Korean Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea in Seoul to eye after folks that proceed to advance and face difficulties settling in and is hence called by some because the Father of Defectors.

« I joined the Korean Of us’s Army in 1970 however left to work on a railroad security mission a decade later.

« In 1988, there became an accident and I became blamed of now not being exact to the pronounce. If I had stayed, I’d’ve been shot in public true worship the four others who have been additionally blamed for the accident.

« So I fled to China earlier than going to Vietnam where I became caught carrying a gun. I got relieve in escaping however became caught any other time by the police who assign me in a detention centre. There have been most effective two flights a month to North Korea so while on the centre, I assaulted an officer with a meals tray and became sentenced to two years in detention center.

« I spent nearly two years there after which managed to acquire away by attacking a guard who got right here in to present me meals.

« Must you are knowledgeable to be worship a captain in the navy, potentialities are you’ll need the most main navigation expertise. I managed to advance in Laos where I became any other time caught and despatched to a labour camp where I spent 9 months, surviving most effective on sugarcane and bananas.

« I managed to acquire away and entered China by crossing the Mekong River. I had no meals and survived by drinking snakes on the map in which. I then met a Korean couple which gave me money that enabled me to take a ship and that is how I arrived in South Korea.

« But then I became accused to being a ogle and imprisoned any other time. I became then accused of being Chinese language and managed to bustle away. In 1998, I escaped to Japan however became imprisoned on memoir of somebody urged the authorities I became a ogle. 

Park Jung Oh takes care of the night lessons that purchase space for North Korean youngsters [Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

« I got very ill and kept fainting. Fortunately, there became a civil neighborhood that heard my story and helped me obtain released. I became then given Jap residency and in 2001, I finally arrived assist in South Korea.

« The Korean authorities would not deal with defectors as folks and the society is now not drawn to them.

« I basically based the North Korean Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea in 2005 after an incident in Gangwon province where a female defector died in a automobile accident and her physique became positioned in the fridge for 20 days and now not given funeral. No person wished to manage with that.

« The ministry of unification supplies around 200,000 Korean Gained ($188) as funeral payment for every defector however that’s now not enough and extraordinarily disrespectful on memoir of loads of them haven’t got a household right here. If they die, they are going to die as mummies.

« That’s why I made up my solutions to construct this organisation which additionally supplies observe space for younger defectors or youngsters born to North Koreans.

« Our neighborhood sends money, garments and medication to defectors who’re having a worldly time in China. There are loads of younger ladies in China who’re sold in the sex industry or as other halves. Men are additionally handled as slaves and they are going to be compelled to work on farms however could now not be given any money.

« I’ve saved nearly 6,000 defectors so a ways and the media calls me the ‘Father of Defectors’. However the job is now not done but.

« I do not know where my household is. I heard thru folks that they have been killed after I fled. I did not communicate to them after I fled North Korea.

« It’s in actuality laborious to think that the difficulty in the North would trade. It’s not one thing that could well happen in my lifetime. But when the Kim Jong-un regime became to tumble, I’d purchase my weapons across the border and purchase revenge. But for now, I don’t ponder I might destroy my time focused on one thing that can doubtlessly by no map happen. »

As urged to Faras Ghani and Hae Ju Kang 

Kim Yong Hwa basically based the North Korean Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea in Seoul in 2005 [Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

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