Then the Great Famine tore into the country. The leading political party, Rodongdang, had an explanation for the catastrophe that killed so much of the population: the famine was supposed to be a very short phase before prosperity would come.
Her family suffered greatly during the famine. Ms. Park had once had tiny food rations, but now it was never certain where the next mouthful of food could come from. It’s well known now that much of the population survived on things like tree bark and grass.
She tried everything to get food for her parents. Like the rest of the general population, Ms. Park and her family suffered severe malnutrition and deep despair. Finally, around 2010, Ms. Park left North Korea, escaping to China in the hope of helping her family somehow.
Though she was not young, she was caught by human traffickers and she was sold to a poor Chinese man. She remembers weeping every night thinking about her parents. Were they worried sick about her? How could she tell them that she had no freedom to help them? Unlike some women who are terribly abused, Ms. Park says she did not live with frightening abuse. But life is always dangerous in China for someone with no legal status; the threat of repatriation is always a fear, since it includes horrific torture. Ms. Park had no guarantee that she could ultimately escape this fate. And then, her grief over her parents could never disappear.
When she learned about NAUH, hope came back into her - she escaped and found the safe house recently. All she desires is legal status and a chance to help her family in North Korea. We at NAUH will do everything we can so that her life has hope and health. This is possible because of kind contributions from our readers and other supporters.