Going to the Republic of China in the course of his work in early 2000 has made Kim Myong Sung, 42, an executive working with a trading company to make a drastic decision not to return to his home country North Korea.
Myong Sung is now living in Seoul, South Korea as a defector, and working as a political writer with ChosunMedia newspaper “The Chosunilbo.”
A graduate from Computer Technology University, Hamheung, North Hamgyong Province of North Korea, Myong Sung said, he took a very high risk for not returning to North Korea after feeling very disgusted, angry and frustrated over what the government (communist regime) has done to the people.
“Many people died of hunger and dead bodies were found everywhere in the street. The situation was really bad and I could not tolerate it anymore and decided not to return,” he told participants of the International Journalists Conference 2018 in Seoul recently.
With the help of an interpreter, Myong Sung said: “When I went to China, I realised how the world was very much different, not like what I have learnt in school before.”
According to Myong Sung, he stayed in China for 50 days and planned to escape. Unfortunately, he could not do it immediately but instead stayed and worked in Shenyang for a while.
When in China, he could not get a visa to go to South Korea. Myong Sung then went to the Vietnamese embassy but they asked him to come back after he stayed in China for a year.
“I even went to the embassy of United States of America and still could not get a visa to South Korea. Determined to go to South Korea, I then crossed the border from China to Vietnam with the help of a map.
“When I reached the border of Vietnam, two soldiers caught me and asked me to go away. Fortunately, I had my way through with the help of a “mafia” who asked 4,000 won to take me to Vietnam,” he said.
After reaching Vietnam, Myong Sung had to pay the “mafia” as promised and if he failed he would be shot dead.
As a wise man, Myong Sung decided to go to the South Korean embassy to seek for help.
From Vietnam, he decided to go to Cambodia and it was in this country that he got his visa from the South Korean embassy and then safely went to Seoul as a defector.
“I was thoroughly checked and investigated by the South Koreans before they let me into Seoul for fear that I might be the North Korean spy or agent.
“In the late 1990’s there were at least 30,000 defectors in South Korea. They lived in the country with the aid of USD40, 000 and for college students, they were given USD33, 000 apart from free education and tuition fees,” said Myung Sung.
Asked if ever he contacted his parents back home, he said, he did not contact his parents since he arrived in Seoul in 2002.
“I did not contact or sent money to them for the sake of their safety. My parents will be in trouble if the government knows that they communicated with me.
“I really don’t know whether they are still alive or not. I really missed them because I did not communicate with them since I reached Seoul in 2002,” he said in grief.
An innocent looking gentleman, Myong Sung also mentioned that South Korea has changed its leadership for three times since he stayed there for the past 15 years.
Myong Sung believes that the North Korean people would fight for democracy once they are exposed to the outside world.
“If the North Koreans get the true picture of South Korea being a democratic and a prosperous country, they would stand up and bring changes to the country.
“The North Koreans have a strong desire for freedom and dream to live in a democratic country. China and Vietnam, for example, have developed greatly through their open economic policies,” he added.
The political writer who is still single also told 15 international journalists representing the Asia Journalists Association (AJA) that a professor had to leave the university after answering a question from his student.
The professor said anybody with Leninism ideology, good leadership, personality and character like President Kim Jong il can be the leader of North Korea.
With that statement, he added, the professor was sent to prison and never returned to the university.
Myong Sung also said that he became very excited to leave North Korea when he had a chance to listen to a radio given to him by an old man.
“Only with the radio, we were accessible to the outside world. My friends and I listened to the radio in the house. When we were outside, we put the radio in our winter coats to avoid the police from snatching it from us,” he said.
After being exposed to the outside world, Myong Sung concludes that the leaders of North Korea could stay in power for a long time due to the regime’s dictatorship policies.
_Malaysia World News