Jang Gil-su

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Jang Gil-su
Chosŏn'gŭl장길수
Revised RomanizationJang Gil-su
McCune–ReischauerChang Kilsu
 
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This is a Korean name; the family name is Jang.
Jang Gil-su
Chosŏn'gŭl장길수
Revised RomanizationJang Gil-su
McCune–ReischauerChang Kilsu

Jang Gil-su (Korean: 장길수) is a North Korean defector who fled North Korea in 1999 at age 15. He became famous in South Korea following publication there and in the U.S. media of his chilling crayon drawings, which depict horrific abuses by North Korean authorities against North Korean civilians.[1]

Defection[edit]

Jang and six members of his family escaped to China from North Korea, and were given temporary refuge by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They subsequently arrived in South Korea via Manila.[2] His mother was caught by Chinese authorities and repatriated.[3]

His family, living in Hoeryeong, North Hamgyeong Province, crossed the Tumen River into China in January 1999. They lived briefly in China with the help of ethnic Koreans there and South Korean human rights activists. Some were caught and repatriated as part of a Chinese crackdown on North Korean refugees.

Life after defection[edit]

In a letter sent to South Korean Ambassador to the US Yang Sung-chul on August 13, 2002, Senator Sam Brownback, supported by Senator Edward Kennedy, invited teenage defector Jang Kil-soo and his family to a photograph exhibition and reception in their honor to be held in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in early September, and the senators urged the South Korean government to allow Jang to visit it.

Memoir[edit]

Jang's memoir, 눈물로 그린 무지개, or "The Rainbow I Painted With My Tears: A refugee boy's story in his own words and drawings," was published by Moonhak Soochop (Seoul). It remains available only in Korean.

Beginning in March 2003 and lasting about a month, Jang began reading excerpts of his memoirs for a series of Radio Free Asia (RFA) broadcasts to North Korea.

His story is told in English (and illustrated by Gil Su) through a book, Out of North Korea, published by http://www.historymakerpublishing.com/.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sherwell, Philip (2000-11-05). "Boy's art shows horror of North Korea". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Kirk, Don (2001-07-01). "North Korea Denounces U.N. Refugee Agency as 7 Migrants Reach the South". New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "UN, Amnesty International asked to investigate repatriated North Korean". Yonhap news agency. 21 July 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 

External links[edit]