I have been born a freewoman, for more than seven years.
I was born in a slave country and never spoke of freedom, and never heard about the word love.
My birth town is a beautiful place with mountain and seas, but even the flowers there did not bloom as they should.
We are people who live under the same sky, but the sunlight that shone on my country was always cold.
The stars that would protect the night sky would be too scared and would disappear far way.
I lived a dark tunnel with no light at the end.
I lived only worrying about what I would eat that day, and then the next day.
In the slave country where I used to live, I never once felt the importance of family. Awake or asleep, I praised the dictators and called them father and mother.
In the slave country that is North Korea, Kim Il Sung and the Work Party are father and mother.
The miserable reality is that, in exchange for our loyalty, however, we received famine and death.
When I came to the UK, for the first time, when I open my eyes in the morning, I can see my family, who I love very much.
If I hadn’t become a refugee, I would have never felt this happiness.
Now I have found happiness is not too big, happiness is around table with family having a dinner together and children smiling.
However, darkness is a county called North Korea where people, including children, never know what happiness and love are.
My country mother and children have separated and they have not known where their families are, or even if they have survived.
I hope one day our country-women meet their families once again and then for the first time they too will know love.
Jihyun Park is a North Korean refugee living in the UK. She works for the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea as the North Korean Outreach and Project Officer.
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