These are the shoes that Young Jae wore on the rescue journey. To protect
his identity, he asked us not to take photos of his face.
Young Jae’s only duty growing up in North Korea was to focus on his studies. Coming from a well-to-do family, he never had to work and even received an allowance that he spent on having fun with his friends, but it all vanished when his mother disappeared.
When word got out that his mother had escaped to South Korea, Young Jae’s family was shunned. Though he originally didn’t want to leave the only place he’d ever known, he knew life would only get harder for him if he stayed. He was caught and sent to a detention center the first time he tried to escape. After he was released, Young Jae never went back to school, knowing the treatment from his classmates would be unbearable. He made a successful escape a year later.
Young Jae plans to resettle in the U.S. because he is interested in learning English. He also wants to pursue a career in law and loves to read, especially mystery novels.
Young Jae looks forward to the day North Korea opens up so he can see his friends again. He and his two best friends promised each other that someday they would build a house with a pond near Mt. Baekdu (close to where they grew up) and raise livestock together. He hopes the time will come when they can make their promise a reality.
Thank you for helping supply the funds for Young Jae’s rescue. Your efforts have changed his life and have provided the opportunity for him to enjoy his new LIBERTY.