Flight from North Korea
Image: Courtesy of the Hudson Institute
Flight from North Korea

As the Kim regime maintains its grip on North Korea's people and starvation persists, a handful of refugees are risking the welfare of their families and their lives to escape through China. In recent months, crossing into China has become even more dangerous as dictator Kim Jong Un has tightened security around the border.

Escape from North Korea, the Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad, by journalist Melanie Kirkpatrick, describes how Chinese Christians and churches are supporting escapees in defiance of laws prohibiting such assistance. (See also our review of the book.)

After a long career with The Wall Street Journal, including a 10-year stint at The Wall Street Journal Asia, Kirkpatrick was drawn toward the plight of the North Korean people. In her book, she describes the challenges that refugees must overcome to gain freedom and the risks Christians take to help them flee. Kirkpatrick, currently senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, spoke with Christianity Today about how this underground railroad operates and the dire situation inside North Korea.

How do Christians explain their willingness to risk so much for the North Koreans coming into China?

It's a really powerful example of Christian belief put into action. Many of the rescuers are Christians. Others are humanitarians. The people who say they work for nonsectarian institutions often are motivated by their own personal Christian faith. One American pastor said to me, "If you saw a man drowning, wouldn't you hold out your hand and help bring him to safety?"

It's that attitude, that profound belief in wanting to help one's fellow man, that inspires them. They know that they're taking a lot of risk in helping the Koreans ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueNew & Noteworthy Books
New & Noteworthy Books Subscriber Access Only
Compiled by Matt Reynolds.
RecommendedWhy US Christians Risk Their Lives to Teach in North Korea
Why US Christians Risk Their Lives to Teach in North Korea
Two arrested from private university in Pyongyang that gives evangelicals a way in.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickThe Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
A leading Nigerian theologian believes the real danger to Christianity in Africa is in the church.
Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad (NONE)
Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad (NONE)
Encounter Books
2012-09-18
376 pp., $13.77
Buy Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad (NONE) from Amazon
Christianity Today
Flight from North Korea
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.