Charles was then sent back to North Korea. This is when he realized that happiness no longer existed for him. The happiness was only temporarily. The North Korean government questioned him, abused him, and made him work as punishment. At this time he was only sixteen years old. The only thing he ate was a piece of corn. Eight months later he was released and was almost starved to death.
He had no money so he had to find work. He worked at a coal mine which allowed him to buy rice. He knew this was very risky because he could lose their arms and legs. He actually saw people lose there arms and legs. He realized he couldn't stay in North Korea anymore and had to figure out to escape. He knew this was going to be extremely hard to do, especially because he had no money or food. He also knew that he could be killed but he was willing to take the chance.
The first part of his journey was he boarded a train to take him closer to the North Korean and China border. He was able to keep himself hidden but at one part he was caught without a birth certificate by the train security. They locked him in a room and had plans to kick him off at the next stop. The train slowed down and he realized that he might be able to escape. He opened the window as planned and escaped. But the journey wasn't over yet. He worked for hours and eventually boarded a second train which brought him to the border of North Korea and China. He now had to go across the Tumen River. Around the river was constant of security and if caught he would be shot. He waited until dark to swim and was halfway across. He almost fell and screamed. A guard screamed and said "come back here or will shoot you." He made to the other side but still his journey was not over yet.
He traveled by foot, van, bus, motorcycle, and boat. There were many days when he wanted to give up. He cried many days until he couldn't cry anymore because he was too dehydrated. When he arrived at his fathers he expected him to welcome him but instead he wasn't happy. He beat him and asked why he came. He sent him away with his first wife and together they escaped police officer eyes. Eventually he made it to Southeast Asia and was safe there. He was kept in a refuge embassy camp and then an international refuge camp where he was helped to come to the united states. Charles is now attending community college and pursuing his own coding project.
My opinion is this is an amazing story and I'm so glad he made it out alive. I hope he is doing well and enjoying his life in the United states. He resettled in the US in 2012.