In North Korea, Kim-Lan ate one meal a day and lacked adequate clothing despite her parents constantly working to support their three children. As work was taxing on her physically weak parents, their family would sometimes starve for up to 10 days.
“Though they were always busy trying to feed and raise our family, we would have to fill our stomachs with water. It really hurts my heart to talk about it.”
Tired of being hungry, Kim-Lan escaped to China where she met her husband and gave birth to their daughter and son, now 9 and 4. Despite these joys, Kim-Lan often wept for the lack of help available.
“I really just wanted to scream out loud, but all I could do was cry. I thought there was nothing left but to die.”
However, after 9 years in hiding, she learned of an opportunity to escape to LiNK’s shelter in Southeast Asia. While crossing the border, Kim-Lan was terrified but amazed at the discovery of new sights she had never encountered in North Korea.
“The journey felt like a dream. When I saw those who had come to rescue us, I became like a child and felt I was being reunited with my parents. I just wanted to run up and hug them.”
Kim-Lan has since been resettled in South Korea and hopes to bring her children out.
“I feel it is my duty to earn lots of money to prepare a way for my children’s future.”