Sunday, January 01, 2006

Kang Chol Hwan on “Seoul Train”

Kang Chol Hwan recounts in The Aquariums of Pyongyang [which he authored] harrowing tales of the camp in which the human spirit, tested, gives way to sub-primal behavior, like when parents begin taking food from their children.

“Seoul Train,” the documentary about the underground railroad that ushers North Korean defectors across China into receptive third countries, "is but a glimpse", Kang says, "of what defectors actually endure to gain their freedom."

“That was only about one-tenth of the story,” he says.

North Koreans, once safe in South Korea, may feel more physically secure, “but their minds are uneasy, their hearts are not comfortable,” Kang says. They think about those left behind, stricken by survivor’s guilt.

[From "A View From Inside" by Grace E. Jang, published in KoreAm Journal]

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