From a hospital in Tucson, Arizona, former North Korean prisoner Robert Park prays for the release of his friend Aijalon Mahli Gomes.
On Christmas Eve, Park crossed into North Korea in hopes of drawing attention to the Communist nation's human rights violations and persecution of Christians. Park was arrested and imprisoned in North Korea and released after six weeks.
Gomes, 31, an English teacher turned Christian activist who attended the same church as Park in Seoul, followed in Park's footsteps, crossing into North Korea on January 25. In April, the North Korean government sentenced the Boston native to eight years in a hard labor camp and fined him $700,000.
Park, who has been hospitalized several times since his February release, has not spoken about his imprisonment.
"I didn't want to cause anything to happen to Aijalon," Park told ChristianityToday in an exclusive interview. "I want him to come out first."
Amid carefully selected answers during the phone interview from the behavioral ...1