On the 15th of December, 2000 a young North Korean refugee couple
approached the outskirts of the Thai city of Chiang Rai.
happened that this couple had previously been eyewitnesses in
their homeland to the gruesome North Korean practice of infanticide.
As the car made its way to the city, the wife, in her last trimester
of pregnancy, became increasingly nauseous and asked the driver
to stop. She seemed to have no choice but to relieve her nausea
in the ditch along the country road.
To their surprise and relief,
a Thai woman from that rural area, who had apparently seen the
little drama unfold at a distance, suddenly rushed to the scene
and offered the struggling refugee woman a tray carrying a most
welcome bottle of cool water and cup. The Thai woman then proceeded
to comfort the pregnant Korean woman by gently patting her back
and even invited her to her home for a rest, a typical gesture
of Thai kindness.
As a result of the help of this thoughtful
individual and the government of Thailand, the North Korean couple
safely arrived in South Korea and delivered the first baby, a
boy, in January, 2001.
This touching story has been repeated
many times over in South Korea by that couple in the past four
an expression of
admiration for the Thai people. So great was their gratitude
for that act of kindness on the roadside that the couple’s
first boy was given the name “Wuntae,” signifying “the
Grace of Thailand” in memory of the aforementioned incident
and an expression of thanks and respect to them.
people hold the King and People of Thailand in very high esteem
for their long and internationally respected history of humanitarianism
to refugees, including Cambodian refugees in the late 1970’s
and early 1980’s. We are also sincerely thankful to them
for their vital humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees
in their plight, a real friend in need.