[Draw my life#1] Story of K 탈북민 김씨의 이야기 (Eng)
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[Draw my life#1] Story of K 탈북민 김씨의 이야기 (Eng)


I was born in Munsu-dong near the Taedong river in Pyongyang city on 29th of December in 1959 When I was born, my father worked as a soldier in the newspaper department of the Korean People’s army and my mother, too [Pyongyang] [Hoeryong] [Deportation in autumn in 1964] [District 64] [10 households from Pyeongyang to Hoeryong] There are no passports in North Korea
[for the common people] The regime doesn’t allow people to travel,
so we can’t hold passports However, we can’t just starve. We need to go abroad I used to sell pine mushrooms which were common in my town to China to earn money It was illegal – I wasn’t supposed to do it There is Namun Inn in Hoeryong The soldiers made it into a temporary detention centre and tortured me When I was arrested and trapped in the room, there was nothing but a radiator They handcuffed me to the 12mm pipe of the radiator I couldn’t sit or stand for 32 hours It was a really painful torture They wouldn’t let me go even if I begged I remember the first 2 or 3 hours were endurable After 4 hours, I felt pain in all my joints
and it lasted 2 or 3 hours I was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months because of smuggling and illegal trade I stayed in Hoeryong prison for 9 months There was a mop which was made of metal because it can last longer than wood or fabric The officers made it using a metal stick and a towel to clean the rooms One day, one of the officers called my number and shouted “Get out!” He said, “Why do you always make noise and don’t obey the rules?” I apologised, and he said “Come out!” I didn’t know he was holding the mop
because I couldn’t hold my head up As he said “Put your head up!”,
I was attacked by the mop on my face My teeth were pulled out right away I could feel blood running through my mouth It felt so unfair, but I couldn’t resist For my children, I thought it is not possible to live in this society anymore After the experience in prison, I thought there is no future for my kids It doesn’t matter how hard they try or how smart they are “There is no future for you.” “Dad, what can we do then?” “I’ll bring you to a better place. We will find freedom.” “Really?” In 1996, I went to China with my friend to sell something At that time, it was pitch dark at night in North Korea because of no electricity supply I realised the political propaganda about how great a country North Korea is was a lie In China, I could see all the world news and South Korean TV dramas My mind had changed completely There are brokers on the Chinese side [of the border] and North Korean side We arranged the time and place to meet with the soldiers on the North Korean side of the border We needed to give them notice what time we would get there “Walk silently, the river is frozen.” “Dad, is here China? So nice.” From China to Mongolia, we moved by bus It wasn’t easy because of food It was cold as well The food was very different from what we used to eat They gave us lamb and horse meat every time we ate It was a completely different culture “Lamb again? But we need to eat this until we get to South Korea.” “Looks great. The world where people live. Wow. Wow.” One day, my daughter remembered her younger brother’s birthday She made birthday food for him “Today is his birthday. How would he be doing?” I guess she did a good job, but it was very painful as a father “It’s very difficult on 22nd of February
because it makes me think of him.” [When I think of him, it’s too painful.] [Next time, we will celebrate it with our hearts but without a cake.] [From your dad] What’s the point of being well by myself in here I only want to know whether he is alive, or I can save him [All humans are born with freedom] [For freedom and human rights!]

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