In photos: The life of a North Korean defector

In photos: The life of a North Korean defector

In photos: The life of a North Korean defector

In photos: The life of a North Korean defector

At dawn on 1 January 2009, a North Korean Lieutenant Colonel, Han Hong Geun (now aged 63), left the Bachelor Officer Quarters in Pyongyang, capital of DPRK, to escape.

That night, he crossed Yalu River and arrived at Kunming City, China, where he stayed for three days. He took the route south through China, all the way down to Laos, where he crossed the Mekong River to arrive at the Korean consulate office on 6 March. He finally reached South Korea in 2011.

In the course of being investigated by the South Korean intelligence agency, all of his effects were confiscated. After the process, he was able to reunite with his family, who had also escaped from North Korea to settle in South Korea a year earlier, and he got a job in Seosan City in the midwestern part of Korean peninsula.

However, in 2013 he was in a car accident where he almost lost his right arm and leg. After eight months of hospitalisation he started the rehabilitation process and was able to return to the workplace.

After almost 10 years in South Korea, he is satisfied that he sacrificed his 53 years, including his military career, of life in North Korea now that he and his family can enjoy the happiness of leading life in a free country.


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