Video – Who Does North Korea Fear?

Pastor Foley shares that North Korea fears Christians and their message of faith rather than economic sanctions or political propaganda.  Only Christianity can expose the North Korean Juche for the fraud that it is!  By the design of Kim Il Sung, there is a shortage of the knowledge of God in North Korea, but by the design of God, only Christianity has the power to make this knowledge known!


To listen to the full sermon and other Seoul USA Podcasts, visit the Seoul USA Podcast Page!

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How Do We Disciple North Koreans Who Visit The Outside World?

NK DefectorsThere are many ways North Koreans manage to cross the border of North Korea to the outside world. Some swim across the Tumen River with guns blazing, dogs barking and search lights glaring in their wake. 

Most, however, leave the same way that you or I would leave our home states or countries – by train, airplane, car, or on foot, walking across a bridge! Every day, North Koreans travel in and out of NK for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with visiting relatives in China or earning money for the regime in a number of different countries.

Others leave because they are forced. Korean-Chinese gangs sex traffic them in order to make money. This has been fueled by China’s one-child policy, since there are now more men than women in several areas, especially rural ones. Chinese men in Northeast China are thus ready customers for North Korean women. Sometimes three or four Chinese men, too poor to afford a wife of their own, band together to purchase one North Korean woman. Consider what one NK defector recently said to us:

I was kidnapped by a man and could not go outside the house at all. I could not speak the language and was always worried about being sent back to North Korea.

Another woman shared with us,

My relatives could not help me financially, so I had to earn money by working at a kimchi factory. Then my boss sold me to a Korean Chinese man who could not speak any Korean. My married life was really harsh. He didn’t work; he simply drank every day.

So what does Seoul USA do to help the wide variety of women and men who come across the border, some legally and some illegally, some by choice and some by force?

We invite those individuals to receive physical and spiritual refreshment along with discipleship in a safe environment.

For example, we first met Mr. L in the market. We invited him to come learn about Jesus and stay at our base. He shared with us that he didn’t have enough money for food and shelter. We told him that we of course never charge.

Mr. L had left North Korea on a travel visa but quickly learned that the relatives he had planned on visiting were no longer there. Many Korean Chinese travel to South Korea in order to make money, often staying for several years before returning. Some stay permanently. 

In order to get a visa to visit relatives, NK people often have to pay in the range of $700—a staggering sum in a country where most citizens do not earn any hard currency at work. Many NK people go into debt to get these visas, selling their homes and furnishings to pay the debt. They do so in the belief that they can receive much more from their relatives in return.

After Mr. L came to the base, he started to read the Bible and the DOTW discipleship training materials. Also he watched the He Lived Among Us DVD three times. He said it was fun to watch, but he was nervous because the NK government did not allow him to watch or read any Christian materials in NK. However, through reading the DOTW booklets and the Bible, he came to realize that God was guiding him and taking care of him.

He tried to memorize the Lord’s Prayer first. It is of course very dangerous to take any Christian material inside NK, so he wanted to memorize the Lord’s Prayer in order to share it with his family. He said that he cannot share God publicly or even say the name of God out loud in NK, but he would start to believe in God and depend on him in every situation. He also asked how to share the Gospel with his wife and family step by step, so our missionaries taught him how to do this.

We shared with him about others who are seeking to follow Christ inside of NK. We also shared with him the story of creation, which is always especially impactful to North Koreans, since they are steeped from birth in evolutionary theory. We taught him how to pray to God and the reason that we pray in the name of Jesus. We shared that we can have eternal life through Jesus Christ when we accept him as our personal Savior. He decided to believe and follow Jesus Christ, a commitment that he intends to keep even after he goes back to NK!

Posted in Making Disciples, North Korea, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

“Dear Beloved And Honorable Countrymen”: How North Korean Defectors Speak Life Into Other North Korean Defectors When No One Else Can

WLO_visitrememberOne of our central purposes at Seoul USA is to attempt to give you unmediated access to the words and thoughts of North Korean Christians when they are simply being, rather than being interviewed–say, for Western Christian publications. Testimonials in Western publications are not unimportant or inherently unhelpful, but neither are they representative. It is simply the case that we all talk differently when we speak to outsiders.

That is why I’m delighted to share with you the following nine letters, each written by one of our North Korean defector Underground University (UU) students to North Korean refugees entering Thailand (and thus freedom) on their defection journey across China on the way to South Korea.

Such freedom is relative, of course: North Korean refugees entering Thailand are entering detainment facilities–prisons–where they await transport to South Korea. The waiting period can last months. The prisons can be hot and crowded. There is little if anything to do but wonder about things like: What will my life be like in South Korea? What about those I have left behind in North Korea? Have I made the right choice? Why did I survive when others did not?

It is to these questions that the UU students address themselves, sharing from their own experience and theological orientation. There is rich, profound imagery and insight packed into each word. Enjoy now what North Koreans say to other North Koreans when they are not smiling for the camera but rather simply trying to help each other hang on just a little bit longer.

Dear fellow countrymen who have crossed the death line seeking God’s protection in the Republic of Korea,

I am so thankful that you have left North Korea and that you are now on your way to South Korea with God’s purpose and with His love.

Though you might have many difficulties now, remember that God is protecting you and guiding your way, just as he guided the Israelites with the pillar of fire and cloud. Please pray earnestly to God and come to him when he answers your prayer.

Life in South Korea is not easy either, but I would like to tell you to live joyfully and to be blessed by God as you seek him and wait for the eternal world, the kingdom of God.

From your friend who has come to South Korea ahead of you.


Dear countrymen for whom I long,

I would like to greatly congratulate you, who successfully escaped from the North. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing you soon even though I have lived far away from my home and family.

I believe that God guided me to safely arrive in South Korea. When I began to believe in faith that God was with me, my life became happy. I hope you also accept God as your father and arrive in South Korea as soon as possible.

My dear brothers and sisters, do not think that God does not exist because we cannot see Him. Remember that he is always with us and live courageously! Blessed are the believers.


Dear brothers and sisters,

I sincerely congratulate you, who crossed the river to save your lives, although you had to leave behind your family and friends in the North.

My name is XXX, and I left North Korea three years ago. Like you, I also passed through the unpaved way and finally arrived in the land of freedom and into God’s arms.

God my heavenly father not only delivered me from the Kim family’s evil dictatorship but also let Jesus, his only Son, sacrifice for me and die for my sin.

I do not think I need to explain these things any further to you, as I am sure that you felt the same things yourself and realized this truth when you arrived in this new land. But I would like to emphasize to you that only God is our father and he loves you. I am sure that you will live your life well when you arrive in the South.


Dear fellow countrymen,

I sincerely congratulate your bold decision to leave the North and I deeply appreciate you for it. I think the result of your right decision is that you will live in the generous heart of the Republic of Korea without worries. That is because you will arrive in the country where you can enjoy happiness and freedom. South Korea is a Christian country whose people believe in and follow God. God gives South Koreans freedom and only leads them in a happy way. I hope you arrive in South Korea soon so that we may enjoy God’s love together! I am looking forward to seeing you soon.

From your companion, who believes and follows God.


Dear fellow countrymen who are in a prison,

My lovely countrymen, please cheer up! I totally understand that you had no choice but to leave the North, which is a horrible place to live. Though we North Koreans have been brainwashed into believing that Kim Il Sung is our only father and chieftain, we have to try to overcome that brainwashing and find happiness in South Korea.

In North Korea, we were required to say that Kim Jong Un was our father, but here in South Korea, God is my only father, and no one can tell me not to believe in him. If we ever said a word of complaint about the president in North Korea, our lives would end in a concentration camp. But in South Korea, you can be blessed to overflowing when you believe in God with all your heart, and I hope that you will enjoy that blessing, as I am now. After you arrive in South Korea, set your mind at ease to accept South Korea as your country.

From an honest child of God


Dear brothers and sisters who are dwelling in Thailand for a while,

I am one who has arrived in South Korea ahead of you and now live happily in God’s arms. I thought my life was driven by my own thoughts and desires. However, I came to meet and believe in God in South Korea and realized that God is the manager of my life, not me.

God loves us and gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to the world and let Jesus sacrifice himself for our sins. We cannot see or hear God, but God is around us as a spirit. God who loves you also listens to your prayers, so pray to God in faith.


Dear ones who are suffering,

I do not have enough tears to shed for all our sufferings. I am writing to you who are from the poorest country with no freedom, who left your hometown to gain freedom.

Even though the way ahead of you is unpaved and narrow, please do not give up but look to the sky and remember God who is helping you. Please be courageous and firmly stand to get the victory until you successfully arrive in South Korea, a paradise. Take care.


Dear beloved and honorable countrymen,

My name is XXX, and I am learning the knowledge of God at UU. I graduated from HANAWON [Refugee Resettlement Center in South Korea] in 2006, and it has already been over 8 years since I settled down in Seoul. I also lived for 3 months in Bangkok, Thailand with the support of a Korean church. While I stayed in Bangkok, I attended a worship service every Sunday and realized that God loves my family and guided us to South Korea. He let us stay in Bangkok for a while on our way to South Korea, though our families have sinned a lot. He finally brought our family members to South Korea and let us become citizens of South Korea. Now our families are living well as Christians and we are praying and learning the word of God.


I write to you as a person who went on a mission trip to Thailand. I think you and I have had the same experience of crossing the river to save our lives. I prayed as we crossed the Yalu River, and I want to tell you that God listened to our prayers and took care of us when we prayed to God in faith.

I came to visit you with the American missionaries. They made a long journey to meet you and I would not have been able to meet you without them. Please, show them your thanks.

In conclusion, I want to tell you that God is leading your way and life. And please, be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.

Posted in North Korea, Visiting and Remembering, Works of Mercy | Tagged , , | 5 Comments