North Korea defector to run for office in UK first

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A former instructor who fled North Korea and ultimately discovered a life in the UK is ready to run for office in upcoming native elections.

Jihyun Park will enter the British political historical past books if she wins a seat in native elections in early May.

She is standing as a candidate for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in the northern English city of Bury.

Jihyun Park’s outstanding story

Park first left North Korea in 1998 along with her brother after they witnessed their father and uncle starve to demise in a famine that swept the secretive nation.

However, she was trafficked to a Chinese man who saved her “like a slave,” she instructed DW in 2015. They had one little one collectively.

She was unable to declare asylum standing in China, a rustic that has shut ties to North Korea, and was ultimately arrested and brought again to North Korea in 2004, leaving her son behind. She was despatched to a compelled labor camp to perform work beneath harsh circumstances.

But she obtained a second likelihood to escape. Park contracted gangrene on the jail camp, inflicting jail guards to ship her house believing that she would die.

She fled as soon as extra to China to be reunited along with her son earlier than touring on to Mongolia. She was helped by a form stranger who later grew to become her husband.

In 2007, a Korean pastor in Beijing put them in contact with the United Nations, which relocated the household to Britain.

She has lived in Bury since 2008. She now spends her time serving to different refugees from North Korea alter to life in Britain.

Repaying kindness

“We had a lot of problems [at first] because we didn’t speak English,” Park instructed information company Reuters, including that the native council was very useful.

Additionally, “people [were] really nice to us, so they gave us lots of gifts, and that’s why today my family is [living] here.”

“I want to pay back this debt of gifts to the residents,” Park defined.

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