North Korean Defector Outlines Struggles of Leaving Children Behind

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

image screenshot from Heritage Foundation event

image screenshot of Kim Jeong-Ah from Heritage Foundation event

Don’t expect the word “communist” to join the host of adjectives that precede the word “studies” in academe. Genuine studies of communist oppression don’t fit the academic narrative.

At a Heritage Foundation panel discussion recently, Kim Jeong-Ah, founder of Tongil Mom, spoke through a translator to detail the human rights situation of North Korean defecting mothers who have to leave their Chinese-Korean children behind in China due to Chinese policies. As the Heritage Foundation’s announcement read:

“One of the tragic consequences of the dire human rights situation in North Korea has been defectors risking imprisonment or death to escape to China to seek a better life. An estimated 80 percent of the escapees are women, and a majority become victims of human/sex-trafficking in China. Many North Korean women who escape the horrors of North Korea are forced or sold into marriages with ethnic Chinese men. When the women later seek to leave China for freedom in South Korea, they oftentimes are unable to bring their children with them since they were fathered by the Chinese “husbands.””

Kim Jeong-Ah is also the executive director of the organization, whose website can be found in Korean, and pointed out that Korean mothers left their children in China due to “repatriation policies” by the Communist Chinese government. These repatriation policies restrict Chinese nationals (i.e. Chinese-Korean children) from traveling with their defecting North Korean mothers to escape to freedom. Many of these defecting mothers continue to feel “humiliation and shame” for leaving their children behind and their past as being sold as wives to Chinese men.

She has four children, but was only able to bring one child to South Korea. Her second child, a son, died at ten months due to complications from her ex-North Korean husband beating her while she was pregnant. Her third child, a daughter, was born in China and remains in China to this day. “I made the heart-breaking decision…to leave for South Korea” and placed her daughter in the name of her ex-Chinese husband to prevent her daughter being sent to North Korea. Kim has not had contact with her daughter since defecting to South Korea.

The Left praises communist and socialist policies and socialist leaders, such as socialized medicine, socialized education, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, but leave untouched and unnoticed the stories of Communist China and North Korea. Those countries have committed many human rights abuses, such as the abuses told by Kim Jeong-Ah and other North Korean defecting mothers, and yet these stories remain mostly ignored by the Left in academia.