Sold as a bride to a Chinese man after months of resisting and being held against her will, Min Hee faced many difficulties because of the language barrier.
In her region, women weren’t allowed to wear shorts or earrings until just a few years ago. Things like this and the encouragement of her family led to her eventual escape from North Korea.
Ji Young set out for China with high hopes of working and making money only to learn soon after arriving that the woman who had given her food had arranged for her to be sold.
Years before Tae Woo’s escape, his father, too, once crossed the North Korean border. In search of food for Tae Woo and his three sisters.
Ji Yeon had a very rough childhood. Her mother gave her up at a very young age.
Nine-year-old Song Hyun has traveled further in his short life time than most of his fellow North Koreans.
Hae Eun’s family raised goats, bees, and foraged for mountain herbs and vegetables to sell at the market.
Prior to her escape, Nae Rae lived a relatively comfortably life in North Korea. Although she was neither hungry nor faced with hardship, she feared that she would be unable to continue her studies if she remained in her home country.
Sarah is both bright and charming. She plans to resettle in South Korea with her husband and infant child.
When she was 9 years old, Haejin’s family home burned down. With nowhere to live, they were forced to live a nomadic lifestyle, staying with different families.
Marie escaped North Korea and found herself hiding in China, still not quite free. She connected with LiNK and made the choice to resettle in the United States.
When Jinwoo sees North Korea programming on television now, he changes the channel immediately, but he didn’t always feel this way.
Though he experienced extreme oppression, hunger, and isolation from the outside world, he was not motivated to leave the country until he married and had his first son.
In North Korea, Bo Ram was sent to a gymnastics school when she was eight years old. Students were made to do vigorous exercise in spite of the lack of proper nutrition or care for injuries they received while training.
Traveling halfway across the world to live in a country where she didn’t know many people or fluently speak the language took much courage!
Hardened by the imprisonment of her husband and a famine that left her family starving in the 1990’s, when Sun Young one day found that she had unknowingly crossed the border into China, she left her family behind in North Korea to seek a better life abroad.
Ae Ra is a talented musician. Now in her late 20’s, she has studied music since she was a child. She plays the flute, piano, and guitar.
As one of our older clients coming through the underground to freedom, it is incredibly inspiring to see the optimism and hope that Dae Jung has for the future.
Ben, an energetic 10 year old boy, lived apart from his mother for three years while she desperately tried to find a way to bring him out of China.
Ji Min has one thing he’d like to say to Kim Jong Un: “I wish you could just find some way to turn the common people into kings.”
Hae Sun had to learn how to take care of herself very early on. She spent many of her teenage years as a salesgirl on North Korean trains
Brian lived a charmed life in North Korea- loving family, university education, and a full stomach, but life became increasingly hard for his family.
Hae Jung has lost many beloved ones. In hopes of finding food and a better life, she escaped to neighboring China.
As a teenager growing up in North Korea, Ella was solely responsible for her family.
The day that Suji became an orphan she was standing with her older sister at the river that separated North Korea from China.
Kyung lost both of her parents and was raised by her loving grandparents as their sole grandchild.
Throughout her childhood, Cate always struggled to find food – she remembers being constantly hungry.
Min-Ji is around 11 years old. She was left on the streets in North Korea at a very young age. She has no idea what her real name is.
Kim-Ian ate one meal a day and lacked adequate clothing despite her parents constantly working to support their three children.
Moon-Su spent many months at this orphanage but eventually, with the help of a friend, built up enough courage to escape
My father went out with a lunch box to pick mushrooms. All of a sudden he said his head hurt,
Eun Hae escaped to China at the age of 19 with the hopes of sending money and food back home to her family in North Korea.
Jung Hee resorted to picking plants in the mountains in North Korea after the police shut her down for selling goods.
Michael and Donna recently escaped North Korea with their young daughter (Isabel).
Heather escaped to China for the second time and was sold again to a different man who she lived with in fear and isolation, enduring more abuse.
Min Sung told us that the hardest part about escaping from North Korea was to leave his family.
Instead of attending school as a child, Yoon-Hui worked in the fields to help her ailing mother and father survive.
Yae Jin was able to find true love in China. She was sold to her husband’s family, but unlike the other husbands, he was kind and affectionate to her.
Myung Soo spent the first 19 years of his life in North Korea. His sister had heart disease and was unable to be treated in North Korea.
Mi-Sun was rescued in 2010 and is safely resettled in the United States
Ki-Won was rescued in 2010 and is safely resettled in South Korea