Want to Make History, North Korean defectors ‘Become a Legislative Candidate’ in England
Windowofworld.com – A North Korean defector hopes to make political history in Britain this week by running for a council member in a British city.
Jihyun Park survives two dramatic escapes from North Korea. Sixteen years after being allowed to die outside a North Korean prison camp, he hopes to make history in Queen Elizabeth’s country.
“When I came to England, a lot of people helped: they welcomed me, they taught me English,” he told Fox News.
“I want to pay back this prize,” he added, as quoted by the media based in the United States (US), Wednesday (5/5/2021).
Park is running for councilors in Bury, a former industrial city in northern England where he was resettled as a refugee in 2008. If elected, he believes he will become the first North Korean defector to hold a political office in the West.
In an interview at his home, he told an astonishing life story.
After watching his uncle die of starvation during a famine that ravaged North Korea in the 1990s, his father urged him to leave the country. One night in 1998, he crossed into China under darkness.
“The army was shouting at us and (we heard) gunfire, but we continued to cross the border because we wanted to survive,” he said.
She fell into the hands of human traffickers, and was sold to a Chinese man who used her for labor and sex.
“I want to end my life,” he said. “My life really is like a slave,” he continued.
“But one day I found out that I was pregnant, so I changed my mind, because the child is my last family and he might give me another chance,” she said.
She hid her pregnancy and gave birth on her own.
Five years later, Park was arrested as an illegal immigrant and deported to North Korea, without his son.
“My nightmare has come true,” he said. “They caught me in front of my son. I begged, ‘Please, I want to say a few words to my son.’ But they never let me, “he continued.
Returning to North Korea, he was imprisoned in a forced labor camp, but fell seriously ill with a leg injury and was released.
“The police said, ‘You can’t die inside the camp. You (will) die outside, after all.’ So they released me, “he mimicked the words of the prison warden.
After several months of recuperating, he made the dangerous crossing to China for the second time.
She reunites with her son, and joins a group of North Koreans trying to reach neighboring Mongolia.
The attempt failed, but Park was helped by a man in the group. The couple is now married.
The couple moved to Beijing, where a Korean-American pastor linked them with the United Nations. They were granted asylum in England.
“In Britain, we are a completely different nationality, a different culture, a different language, but they accept us,” he said.
“I want to pay back this prize in England,” he added. “So that is why I am running in this election,” he said.
On the campaign trail in Bury, where he is a candidate for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party, Park said voters rarely seek to talk about his country of birth, and show little interest in global diplomatic tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
Instead, they wanted to know what he plans to improve the garbage disposal service.
“People chat with us about garbage collection issues, dirty roads and also road safety. Everything, “he said. “And I wrote it down, in my notes,” he continued.
“I’ve made my dream come true here: happy family, happy life. And finally I found my freedom here,” he continued.
“Now I want to make other people’s dreams come true,” he said.