In the garment factory, the superintendent wanted Shin to inform on an important new prisoner. Park Yong Chul, short and stout, with a shock of white hair, had lived abroad....
Much of what Park talked about, especially at the beginning, was difficult for Shin to understand or care about. What delighted him—what he kept begging Park for—were stories about food and eating. These were the stories that kept Shin up at night fantasizing about a better life. Freedom, in Shin's mind, was just another word for grilled meat.
Intoxicated by what he heard, Shin made perhaps the first free decision of his life. He chose not to snitch. And he soon began thinking about escape.
March 24, 2012
The amazing story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in a North Korean forced labor camp, and escaped at the age of 23: