Though Moo Chan remembers a good, plentiful childhood in North Korea, things became difficult as he grew up. He never had proper government-given work and had to make ends meet by finding odd jobs; he panned for gold and other metal in the river and did business right across the border in China. Still, he only had enough food to eat day by day with nothing to sustain himself long term.
One day he was in China doing business when he was arrested. He was repatriated and sat in prison for two months before being released. It was then that he truly realized that life was hopeless in North Korea and started to think about joining his resettled family members and good friends in the South. He wanted to be with them more than anything, so he escaped.
Interestingly enough, Moo Chan maintains a cool head about his forthcoming new life in South Korea, saying “Though the person next to me might say it’s a wonderful place, I have always been the type of person to see what things are like for myself.” Right now, his main goal is to be a good son and take care of his mother, who resettled several years ago. Everything extra will come later and on its own, he says. He’s neither worried nor picky about the kind of work he’ll be doing—just as long as he is with his family and friends.