I met my wife in a small motel in China, where I was hiding after my escape from North Korea. We grew closer over meals where we shared our sad life stories. She was caring and encouraging, and she helped me a lot during a difficult time. At first I just wanted to take care of her, hoping she’d find healing, but we fell in love. I decided to marry her because I wanted to be her eternal life partner. She rejected my first proposal because she feared that I, like so many others before, was taking advantage of her.
My wife’s parents passed away when she was young, leaving her brothers to raise her. Later, after the famine hit, she left North Korea to go to China in hopes of finding food. While looking for work, she was kidnapped and trafficked. Eventually, she got pregnant with a Chinese man who promised to send money to her family in North Korea. He failed to keep his promise and worse, he also mistreated her. While she was pregnant, she escaped to another city with other North Korean women. That’s where we met.
She eventually gave birth to her son, but had complications and passed out from severe blood loss during the delivery. I didn’t hesitate to spend all the money I had to pay for the medical bills because I love her so much. After she got better, she finally accepted my marriage proposal, and I had the honor of naming her son, whom I accepted as my own.
Unfortunately, my wife was recently in a serious car accident. Doctors tell me that she may require medical attention and live in an assisted living facility for the rest of her life. We only spent two years together as husband and wife, but I still don’t regret falling in love with her. She’s my life partner forever. My only wish is for her to recover soon so that we can raise our son together.
– Jang Nam
UPDATE | May 2014!
Though Jang Nam’s family has struggled since his wife’s accident, he’s now training to be a welding specialist, which he hopes will help his family resettle successfully in South Korea. Although he had to quit his job at a manufacturing company to attend school, he believes it is a good investment to bring more financial stability to his family.
Jang Nam’s resettlement journey has not always been easy due to working long hours to support his family. However, he always tells his resettlement coordinator that the reason he doesn’t want to give up is because of LiNK staff and supporters. He knows that people around the world are supporting North Koreans, like him and his family. The encouragement and hope from LiNK supporters and his gratitude for their support are what keep him going.