This is the story of a young man named Danny, who was born in a small town in North Korea where he lived with his mother and grandmother. His father abandoned them when he was still very young. In North Korea, children are indoctrinated early and so they grow up seeing their leaders as if they were God. They are taught that the leaders spend time and resources making North Korea a socialist paradise.
However, deep inside most people know that this is simply not true and that the truth is that they are not free to think for themselves. They are aware that they are trapped in a world that was created for them with lies from powerful leaders who control them through fear and isolation from the outside world. In fact, it’s prohibited to even think about or long to visit another country. This is considered treason and it’s punished brutally.
The regime attempts to control the population by eliminating all their basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, and access to information. As a result, young people don’t have the ambition or the ability to think outside the box. Their whole lives seem to be a constant struggle to supply their physical needs in order to survive.
North Koreans in a general walk around with looks of suspicion. They whisper even in the safety of their own homes because they believe that even the walls have ears and eyes. Thousands of them risk their lives every year trying to escape into China in search of food, money, and freedom. If caught and sent back they face imprisonment, torture, and even execution. Executions usually take place in front of the whole town. The average Korean will have experienced at least ten executions by the time he or she is twenty.
Danny eventually made the decision to escape into Northeastern China by crossing the Tumen River. He was only seventeen years old when he did this and his main objective was to find his mother. Once in China, he reunited with his mother who had gone before in search of work. Eventually, he went to an organization named LINK and requested help to move to the United States where he now uses his story to inspire young people because until all people are free, none of us are. Find out more now.