After Choi Kwanghyuk escaped from his native North Korea to neighboring China, he heard how the general image of North Korean defectors was not positive among those in South Korea.
“So, I applied for asylum in the U.S.,” he told Fox News.
Choi was granted asylum in the U.S. in 2013. He first lived in Dallas before eventually moving to Los Angeles where he now lives.
Choi said that as a result of injuries he received while being tortured, he is unable to work but has committed himself to telling the world about the human rights abuses in his native land.
“First of all, every human must have the right to freedom,” he said. “There is no freedom in North Korea. By law, they have the freedom of religion and the freedom of the press, but the reality is very different.”
And despite the hardships he may face, Choi said that life in the U.S. is a vast improvement. “There is an enormous difference between my life in North Korea and my life in the U.S,” he said. “The life in North Korea is hell … life in America is heaven.”