North Korean Survivor Facing Trial in China

Michelle Vu from The Christian Post is reporting that a man who escaped North Korea is facing trial in China for helping other North Korean refugees.

Yoo Sang-joon was arrested near the Chinese-Mongolian border while trying to rescue other North Koreans from danger in China, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

According to the group, activists in South Korea consider Yoo’s case unique because of his tragic background and “redemptive sacrificial motivation.”

“We are naturally deeply concerned for Mr. Yoo. It would be abhorrent if, after suffering such a terrible tragedy with the death of his son as he tried to escape from China, the Chinese authorities would punish him for seeking to save others from a similar fate,” said CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas.

Yoo’s motivation for helping North Korean refugees reportedly stems from his own tragic personal story. After his wife and youngest son died in the North Korean famine, the weakened Yoo – realizing that he and his remaining son would likely suffer the same fate – had decided to flee to China.

Unable to travel together, his son Chul Min, 10, attempted to escape across the Mongolian border. However, unfamiliar with the inhospitable terrain, he wandered for 26 hours and – suffering from dehydration and weakened from the famine – died before crossing the border, according to CSW.

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