3 Orphans Plead
Hiroshi (center), Secretary General of
LFNKR, addresses journalists at the Foreign Correspondents'
Tokyo on April 12, discussing the 3
North Korean orphans being held by Laos authorities.
Read Their Letters
following letters were written by three
desperate North Korean children who are now in
the Vientiane Jail, Laos. They are very aware of
the risk of repatriation back to North Korea.
letters show their anger and confusion over
the situation but at the same time, reveal how
desperate they are with their appeal for help.
Letter from Choi Hyok, a 12 year old boy
Dear Uncle, How
are you? North Korea knows about us. North Koreans came to
us for questioning and they made reports about us as
they wished and took away all the reports with them. If you don’t
help us, we will kill ourselves because we don’t want to
go to North Korea. Because, if we go to North Korea, we will
be imprisoned for the rest of our lives…Please rescue us.
If you rescue us, I will repay it later. Really, really, I want
to be free. Please help us. I pray for freedom, to Lord. I want
to be free to study, freedom, freedom, freedom
In the evening, 6 April, 07
From Choi Hyok
Letter from Choi Hyang-mi, a 18 year old girl
I love my two
brothers so much that I do not want to be alive without my
brothers. I am not teasing you, Uncle. You are not
threatening us to death. If I am sent back to North Korea, I
really don’t want to stay alive, I just don’t care
about my mother, brothers and even God if I am sent to North
Korea. I am so resentful now to be in danger simply because we
do not have $1,000. It is not even $2,000, it is only $1,000
that was needed to be added and why don’t you find us more
precious than money? I don’t want to go to America any
more. We will go anywhere if it is not North Korea and prison.
You will not take care of us even if we go to America. Yesterday,
when North Koreans asked us questions and threatened us, we told
them that we will never go to North Korea and consistently lied
that we were South Koreans. Don’t worry about money and
we will pay it back whatever amount you may need to save us.
Don’t count the number and please save human life! They
can take our dead bodies to North Korea but not us alive. I mean
it! We are now so desperate that we are violent to do anything.
7 April 2007
Letter from Choi Hyang, 13 year old girl
How are you? I am Choi Hyang. We are in a great danger right
now because of that money, $2,000. We do not want
to be known publicly but now we do not mind becoming public and
not only that we are even prepared to go to hell only if we are
not to be sent to North Korea. But I think making our situation
public is now too late. Of course, you do not owe us but is the
$ 2,000 that important to allow life to fall to death? Maybe,
$2,000 will make your life very comfortable for sometime. But
we are dying because of that $2,000. On 6 April, people came
from the North Korean Embassy. They almost threatened us, swored
and shouted at us and said something of the kind consideration
of the party and etc… I do not need protection of such
a great party. I mean that I will kill myself if we are taken
to North Korea. I will die.
Dear Uncle, we
are all Christians and children of God as you are. Are you
dropping us from the column of Christians to hell
because of that $2,000?. Don’t you want to know how strong
it was on 5 April? I am not going to tell you how strong it was
because that is not the issue. What is important is the struggle
between life and death. Uncle, I am sorry to say that you did
not rescue us in the beginning and I do not think you would help
us either this time. Nevertheless, I am writing this letter in
the last chance of a drowning person who will catch at a straw.
Dear Uncle, the North Korean embassy interrogated us and took
all the information about us back with them on 6 April. Please
give us freedom. Is that anything wrong to give us freedom? We
are unfortunate children who came all the way here in search
of freedom and are at risk of losing their lives for freedom.
If any person could give us the freedom, I will remain grateful
for the rest of my life. Please. We can accept anything except
going to North Korea. I swear in the name of Jesus Christ that
if any one should save us now, I will pay back much greater amount
of money and love. God knows and I will never forgive those who
lead us to death.
7 April 2007
Choi Hyang from a prison in Laos
news articles featuring the jailed orphans
Washington Post: April 11, 2007
From N. Korea to a Laos Jail Cell
Rights Groups Work for Release of 3 Young Refugees
Japan Times: April 9, 2007
Laos to free N. Korean kids if Japan NGO pays money
April 13, 2007
police demand £500 a head to save refugee children from