In November 2014, the generous donations to the Rescue Fund rescued young Kim Song Yi (named changed to ensure her safety). This is her story.
Twenty-One and On the Run
Two winters ago, Kim Song Yi was close to despair. At the young age of twenty-one, an age at which most young South Korean women fret over exams and blind dates, Song Yi was fleeing for her life in China. She was completely alone, with no knowledge of whether her parents were still alive and no prospect of ever seeing them again.
Song Yi was born in North Korea to an ethnic Chinese father working in North Korea as a journalist and a North Korean mother. She attended vocational school for singing in Sariwon City, North Korea. While on a business trip to China, her father decided that he needed to take his family out of North Korea so that they could live a freer life. However, he soon realized that it would be impossible to take them to China legally. After struggling with this realization for months, he finally decided to smuggle them out of North Korea, starting with Song Yi. But soon after Song Yi reached China, she was jolted by terrible news when she tuned into the radio: her father, who had been planning to leave North Korea shortly after she left, had been captured for the alleged crime of introducing dozens of North Koreans to a South Korean missionary. She then discovered that both Chinese and North Korean security officials were looking for her as well.
Song Yi fled for her life. For months she lived in fear of being caught and sent back to North Korea, where she would face punishment, perhaps even being sent to a prison camp. She was too afraid to eat or sleep, and she could not stop crying over the thought of never seeing her mother and father again. Exhausted from living in hiding for so many months, Song Yi reached out to NKHR for assistance reaching South Korea. It was during this difficult time that she resolved to try to save her father if she made it to South Korea.
With the generous donations to the Rescue Fund, NKHR was able to get Song Yi safely out of China. She arrived safely in Thailand after a long and tumultuous journey. Song Yi’s rescue would not have been possible without the support of our donors.
But the Rescue Fund's work is not done yet—there are still countless others who need help. Young men and women like Song Yi are frequently separated from their families while on the run in China. They find themselves scared and alone, with nowhere to turn for help and fearful of being caught by Chinese or North Korean authorities. That is why the Rescue Fund is so important.
Please consider making a contribution to help the Rescue Fund rescue as many young North Korean as possible. Donate here.