In Amazing Reddit AMA, One Man Shares How He Escaped North Korea In The 1950s


Social media has given voices to people of all backgrounds. One Reddit user started his own Ask Me Anything thread to share a deeply personal story.

DocKim, also known as Doctor Kim on Reddit, fled North Korea as a child during the Korean War in the early 1950s. He escaped to South Korea and eventually to the U.S. He now lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, where he works as a doctor.

“We walked, bussed, and took a train until we were close to the border,” said DocKim through his grandson. “When we tried to cross over we were stopped by soviet soldiers and my uncle bribed them with a wrist watch. They let us go. Many of the soldiers had no education and were very impressed by watches. I saw one soldier that had broken watches all up his arm.”

DocKim added that he never regretted fleeing North Korea, but that he never met his parents again since leaving the country.

“I don’t know what happened to them,” he said. “My mother and father were going to meet me in the south. My mother urged me to go with my uncle and they would meet me later … but they never arrived and I lost all contact with them.”

Although DocKim has very little memory of attending school in North Korea, he remembers using a tray filled with sand to practice write Korean characters.

“We didn’t have any paper so I would write the characters in the sand then shake the tray to start over again,” he said.

He said his worst memories are of the Korean War. “I was captured by North Korean soldiers when they were invading the south,” he said. “I was staying with a local teacher when I was captured. He actually knew some of my captors and was able to negotiate my release. I was lucky as I would likely have been executed.” Read the full transcript of DocKim’s Ask Me Anything session here.

Photo: Dr. Kim in Newfoundland with his new Volkswagen in the 60′s. Via Reddit