A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea

By Eunsun Kim

Eunsun Kim was once born in North Korea, some of the most secretive and oppressive international locations within the glossy international. As a baby Eunsun enjoyed her country…despite her institution box journeys to public executions, day-by-day self-criticism periods, and the expanding gnaw of starvation because the country-wide famine escalated.

By the time she was once 11 years outdated, Eunsun's father and grandparents had died of hunger, and Eunsun too was once at risk of ravenous. eventually, her mom determined to flee North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, no longer figuring out that they have been embarking on a trip that will take them 9 lengthy years to accomplish. earlier than eventually achieving South Korea and freedom, Eunsun and her family members might dwell homeless, fall into the arms of chinese language human traffickers, live to tell the tale a North Korean hard work camp, and go the deserts of Mongolia on foot.

Now, in A Thousand Miles to Freedom, Eunsun is sharing her amazing tale to provide voice to the millions of North Koreans nonetheless ache in silence. advised with grace and braveness, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea's totalitarian regime and, finally, a testomony to the energy and resilience of the human spirit.

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Within the morning, we have been awoken by means of noise from the road, yet we didn’t movement a muscle. mother used to be as nonetheless as a statue. the weight resting on her shoulders was once an excessive amount of for her to undergo. She knew that she used to be our final wish opposed to the illness that had struck our kingdom and used to be turning out to be worse on a daily basis: the famine. seeing that 1995, my relatives have been slowly loss of life one by one, and the 3 folks have been subsequent at the checklist. inside of a span of 2 years, my mom had misplaced my grandmother after which my grandfather almost immediately in a while.

Keumsun acknowledged to me. For me, i don't think that there'll be an all-out struggle, similar to I don’t imagine the regime will ever hand over its strength, nor will it abandon its atomic guns, which it's construction in mystery. and that i consistently wonder whether i'll ever get the opportunity to come back to North Korea, a North Korea liberated from tyranny and freed from discomfort and starvation. five December 1997 even though my physique was once as skinny as a sprig, I nonetheless felt like I weighed a ton; my physique felt too heavy to maneuver. I slumped onto the tough, frozen flooring because the darkness of the evening began to swallow me.

Yet those NIS employees have been uncompromising and instructed me i used to be now not accepted to touch a person in the course of my interrogation. i used to be determined, so I insisted persistently that they permit me name my sister only once, to enable her comprehend that we have been nonetheless alive. regrettably, for a very long time, all my efforts have been in useless. eventually, seeing how determined i used to be, they determined to do me a want. i used to be allowed to make a decision lasting 3 mins, and never one moment longer. Grabbing the receiver, I dialed Keumsun’s quantity. I shook with neves because the mobile rang.

In a short time, we understood that we weren't welcome. My aunt desired to support us, yet her husband had different rules in brain. regrettably, in North Korea, it's the guy of the family who calls the pictures. hours later, we have been requested to depart. The famine had led to a vicious video game of each guy for himself. My mom was once stunned. She had helped my aunt such a lot of occasions long ago. while my mother had labored on the health facility, she usually despatched her sister rice truffles and different provisions during the postal provider that was once, on the time, extra sensible.

Finally, we didn’t have a lot left to lose. And as soon as my mom has an concept in her head, it’s very unlikely to alter her brain. with out uttering one other notice, she began making the right kind arrangements. We have been going to turn into defectors, traitors to our nation. although, at this element, our issues have been faraway from political. We have been guided by way of our intuition for survival, now not by means of the belief of revolting opposed to the regime. Our merely objective used to be to discover meals and live on. I had no wish to criticize the dictatorship of Kim Jong-il; I simply desired to alleviate my starvation.

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