I am a North Korean defector who was trafficked and sold as a bride in China AMA
Update I am logging off! Thank you so much for all the great questions! I can tell by the questions that many people here care about the North Korean people and know that they are different from the regime. I wish I had more time to answer more questions but it is my last night in America before going back to South Korea and I want to eat some great NYC food! I will try to answer some questions later tonight if I have some time :)
My name is Joy and I’m from North Korea. I escaped to China when I was 18 but was immediately trafficked and sold as a bride to a Chinese man for $3,000 USD. Life was difficult, but I gave birth to a daughter who became the joy of my life. After 2 years I was offered an opportunity to finally escape. I reached freedom through a 3,000-mile rescue route that brought me to Southeast Asia, and from there I flew to South Korea. Because the journey out of China is incredibly dangerous for North Koreans, I had to leave my daughter behind. I now live in South Korea and I am studying social work to help North Korean women who have also been trafficked. I hope to bring my daughter to South Korea to live with me one day.
Because I have family in North Korea that could face punishment if my identity was revealed, I cannot share my real name or show my face.
I am joined today by Ian and Sarah of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). Together, we are in NYC promoting LiNK’s new film Sleep Well, My Baby. It is a short film about a North Korean woman who was trafficked and sold in China, and it is based on the real stories of North Korean women like myself. I’m still learning English, so Sarah will be translating for me and Ian will be typing.
Liberty in North Korea is an international NGO dedicated to supporting the North Korean people. LiNK brings North Korean refugees through a 3,000-mile, modern-day 'underground railroad' to freedom and safety. To date they have rescued more than 700 North Korean refugees. These refugees drive change inside the country by sending money and outside information back to friends and family. LiNK also works to change the narrative on North Korea by producing documentaries, hosting events, and engaging with the international media to bring more focus to the North Korean people and the bottom-up changes they are driving in their country. The vision of LiNK is a free North Korea in our lifetimes.
Ok enough background. Let’s get started - please ask me anything!