Shin was born in 1982 in a North Korean prison camp. Growing up in this misery, he knew almost nothing of the outside world. He barely met his father and his brother. Though he lived with his mother for 12 years in the camp, she was worked from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day, so Shin hardly had any significant relationship with her.
At the age of 12, Shin was separated from his mother and put to work in the concentration camp. This was not your typical summer job at the local shopping mall. It was the type of work where it wasn't uncommon for Shin to see four to five children killed in a day.
Shin later discovered during a torture session to which he was subjected that the reason he and his family were in the concentration camp was that some of his ancestors had helped the South Korean government in the Korean War. It didn't matter that the war occurred decades before Shin was even born. He had to be punished for the sins of his family.
Shin was tied up and chained to the ceiling with a flame lit beneath him. In other words, he was being roasted alive. Later, after Shin slowly recovered, he was taken to watch his brother and mother be publicly executed.
After learning about the outside world from a new inmate to the camp, Shin, while sent to collect fire wood on a mountain, escaped. Ultimately, he made it to