DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas woman who escaped from North Korea 20 years ago said she is not optimistic dictator Kim Jong Un will keep any promise he makes to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Through an interpreter, Myounghee Eom said, “I cannot trust any words from Kim Jong Un.”
Eom said she watched the historic summit Monday night on TV between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, but she said she didn’t have a chance to read about the details Tuesday because she wakes up early to operate the donut shop she owns.
She said she doesn’t believe Un will give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons because it’s the core of their defense.
Eom believes there’s a good reason Un decided to meet with President Trump.
“It is based on his own survival because he is cornered right now and tried to maintain his power.”
Experts say Eom is one of four or five people from North Korea now living in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
She escaped from the regime in 1998, when Un’s father ruled.
She sold goods in China and says she while in that country, she decided not to return home because of three things she did: she learned about Christianity, she did business without having a license and she missed an election.
“If you miss it, you’re going to be jailed or you’re going to be killed. So I got three items on the list, so no doubt of being executed.”
Eom felt she was forced to leave behind her husband, and their two daughters, ages ten and five. “I felt I was stabbed. Then every time any seasonal event ever came up it comes to me as if the knife in my thigh is twisting every minute.”
Once in China, she said she was in and out of jail for three years.
In 2001, Eom said she finally was able to escape to Thailand where she was in and out of jail for a year.
She met a Korean translator there who worked with the UN, and he helped her get to South Korea, where she spent six years.
Eom moved to the United States in 2008, where she lived in the Washington, D.C. area.
While she says her husband re-married in North Korea, Eom said she found a way to sneak her two daughters out of their homeland.
When she went to pick them up, she had to ask who they were. “All the faces are facing me and I could not recognize them.”
She moved to North Texas in 2010.
Eom is now in the process of saving money so she can help other North Korean refugees in the U.S.
She has already established the Free North Korea Center and has helped some people.