Tim was three years old when his father died of starvation. After years of scraping by, he and his mother escaped to China to search for food. They were caught, sent back to North Korea, and imprisoned. This was the first of Tim’s 15 stints in prison for illegally leaving the country and spreading information to the North Korean people about the outside world. When he was 15, Tim’s mother was killed when she fell off a train after being forcibly sent back to North Korea.
While living as an orphan in China, Tim met people who helped him escape for good. He resettled in South Korea in 2008. Since then, he started attending university as a communications major and married a beautiful woman from his hometown. He said he’s happiest about having people he can finally call family, something he’s longed for since being orphaned and living alone.
An ambitious and driven man, Tim started a website to empower North Korean defectors living in South Korea. His website provides essential information and resources for navigating South Korean society. In 2013, he also published an autobiography detailing his experiences living as an orphan in China.
Now, he is focusing hard on balancing his full-time studies and marriage. Tim and his wife are hopeful that North Korea will open up someday. When that time comes, they want to start an orphanage there.