Thanks to the generous support of donors, NKHR Rescue Fund was able to rescue three North Korean refugees in March 2015. Their stories are below. Thank you to everyone who helped rescue these women.
Pong Hee and her 14-year-old daughter
In 2012, Pong Hee left North Korea believing that China would offer a better life. She had been struggling to survive in North Korea, recently separated from her abusive husband, and unable to find work because she had a young daughter. While wandering the streets for food one day, Pong Hee was persuaded by a stranger that life in China would be more prosperous and that she wouldn’t have to beg for food. She accepted the stranger’s offer to help her and her daughter escape.
Pong Hee soon realized that she had been deceived. When she reached China, she was handed over to sex traffickers who tried to take her daughter away. It would be more difficult to sell her with a daughter. Pong Hee was beaten when she begged them to let her keep her daughter, but the pair was ultimately allowed to remain together. They were sold to a farmer in rural China.
Several other North Korean women who had been sold also lived in Pong Hee’s village. When Pong Hee watched Chinese authorities arrest one of them, orphaning the young mother’s child, she realized that she needed to come to South Korea to guarantee her and her own child’s safety. She reached out to NKHR for help, and with your donations, NKHR was able to bring Pong Hee and her daughter to safety. She arrived in Thailand about a week ago.
Twenty-five year old Mi Hwa
Twenty-five year old Mi Hwa was sold into sex trafficking in China by the North Korean police officer who arrested her for stealing food from a farmer. She was only 20 years old.
Young Mi Hwa was physically abused by the sex trafficker when she arrived in China, as well as by the Chinese man to whom she was sold. Mi Hwa gave birth to a daughter with her Chinese husband, but left her behind when she ran away without any money or possessions. Traumatized by guilt for leaving her daughter and the memories of physical abuse, Mi Hwa became mute.
Mi Hwa’s fragile state put her at high risk of being caught by Chinese authorities. NKHR was contacted to help her reach South Korea safely. Thanks to your generous donations, Mi Hwa also reached Thailand safely about a week ago.
Young mothers who are caught by Chinese authorities frequently find themselves forced to abandon their young children. NKHR tries to ensure that mothers and their children arrive in South Korea safely together, where they can begin their new lives of freedom and hope.