North Korean defector runs for election in Britain, seeks to make political history

Sixteen years after she was left for useless exterior a North Korean jail camp, Jihyun Park hopes to make political history this week when she runs for election in Britain.

“When I came to the UK, many people helped: they welcomed me, they taught me English,” she advised Fox News. “I want to pay back this gift.”

Park is standing to be a councilor in Bury, a former industrial city in northern England the place she was resettled as a refugee in 2008.

If elected, she believes she can be the primary North Korean defector to maintain political workplace in the West.

In an interview at her residence, she recounted an astonishing life story.

Having watched her uncle die of hunger throughout the famine that ravaged North Korea in the Nineteen Nineties, her father urged her to go away the nation.

One night time in 1998, she crossed into China beneath the duvet of darkness.

Park talks with a local resident while out delivering leaflets after deciding to run for councilor in Bury, the town where she was resettled as a refugee in 2008.
Park talks with an area resident whereas out delivering leaflets after deciding to run for councilor in Bury, the city the place she was resettled as a refugee in 2008.
Reuters

“Soldiers shouted at us and [we heard] gunfire, but we continued across the border because we wanted to survive,” she stated.

She fell into the palms of human traffickers and was bought to a Chinese man who used her for labor and intercourse.

“I wanted to give up my life,” she stated. “My life was actually slavery.

“But one day I found out that I was pregnant, so I changed my mind, because the child is my last family and he maybe gave me another chance.”

She hid her being pregnant and gave beginning alone.

Five years later, Park was arrested as an unlawful immigrant and deported to North Korea, with out her son.

“My nightmares came true,” she stated. “They arrested me in front of my child. I begged, ‘Please, I want to say some words to my son.’ But they never allowed me.”

Back in North Korea, she was imprisoned at a labor camp, however grew to become significantly in poor health with a leg damage and was freed.

“The police said, ‘You cannot die inside the camp. You die outside anyway.’ So they released me.”

After a pair months recuperating, she made the damaging crossing into China for a second time.

She was reunited together with her youngster and joined a bunch of North Koreans trying to attain neighboring Mongolia.

That effort failed, however Park was helped alongside the best way by a person in the group. The pair grew to become an merchandise at the moment are married.

“The police said, ‘You cannot die inside the camp. You die outside anyway.’ So they released me.”

After a pair months recuperating, she made the damaging crossing into China for a second time.

She was reunited together with her youngster and joined a bunch of North Koreans trying to attain neighboring Mongolia.

That effort failed, however Park was helped alongside the best way by a person in the group. The pair grew to become an merchandise at the moment are married.

The couple moved to Beijing, the place a Korean-American pastor put them in contact with the United Nations. They have been granted asylum in England.

If elected, Park may be the first North Korean defector to hold political office in the West.
If elected, Park would be the first North Korean defector to maintain political workplace in the West.
Reuters

“In the UK, we were a totally different nationality, different cultures, different languages, but they accepted us,” she stated.

“I want to pay back this gift in the UK,” she added. “So that’s why I stand in this election.”

On the marketing campaign path in Bury, the place she is a candidate for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative social gathering, Park stated voters not often search to discuss in regards to the nation of her beginning and present little curiosity in world diplomatic tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

Instead, they need to know what she plans to do about bettering rubbish disposal providers.

“People chat to us about the bin collection problems and the dirty streets and also road safety. Everything,” she stated. “And I write it down, in my notes.”

She added, “I already made my goals right here: a cheerful household, a cheerful life. And I lastly discovered my freedoms right here.

“Now I want to bring another person’s dreams.”

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