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North Korean Family Recalls Losing Six Members

ICC Note:

North Korea Freedom Week in Washington, D.C. began this weekend with the story of a mother and two sisters, North Korean defectors who lost more than half of their family to starvation and violence to both Korean and Chinese authorities. The older sister’s prayer was that God would raise up people like Moses to lead the people of North Korea.


4/28/08 North Korea (ChristianPost) North Korean defector who now resides in the United States recalled through tear-filled eyes on Saturday the death of more than half her family due to starvation and violence at the hands of Chinese and Korean authorities.

Cho Jin Hae spoke at a kick-off protest for North Korea Freedom Week in Washington, D.C. She along with her younger sister and her mother, who is deaf in one ear due to beatings from North Korean officials, are the only survivors of their original family of nine.

“I can’t explain to you what kinds of things I underwent and what kinds of things I suffered,” said Cho, who was repatriated by Chinese authorities and endured enormous amounts of torture and hardship while imprisoned in North Korea.

Her father had crossed the border into China to look for food for the family, but was captured and beaten to death on his way back. Cho’s oldest sister also went to China to search for food for the family, but was kidnapped and trafficked. Meanwhile, her two-month old sister and grandmother died from starvation in North Korea while waiting for food. Cho did not explain about the other deaths.

North Korean refugees are officially considered illegal economic migrants by the Chinese government and therefore receive no legal protection in China. They are harshly treated before being deported back to North Korea despite the fact that the U.N. Special Rapporteur on North Korea declared North Koreans who flee to China, “refugees.”

Back in North Korea, the repatriated refugees face imprisonment, torture and sometimes execution for leaving the country – a state crime.

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