Saturday, November 14, 2009

North Korean defector tells of torture

L, a North Korean woman who defected to South Korea in 2007 with three sons is reluctant to repeat the details of her own torture and left it to the interpreter to reveal what she had endured.

"She had her nails prised off with pliers, all her lower teeth were pulled out - she now has to wear false teeth - water with hot chillis was put up her nose," the interpreter said.

"I want to raise awareness of what is going on, we have to talk about the situation," said L, now a Christian, who did not want her name revealed as she still has relatives in the north. "It is the only way to make a change."

L, who speaks to her relatives in the North regularly, provides a grim insight into the daily struggle to find food.

"They go to the mountains to find edible roots, grass and soft bark on trees," L said. "Out of 100 people, 70 are going hungry, 30 are better off because they have connections to families in high positions."

L misses home and find life in South Korea hard. L's sons are struggling because of their poor English and have trouble keeping up with computer technology. All say they are waiting for the day when the two Koreas are reunited so they can go back.

[Excerpt of a Guardian article]

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