Sometimes the men just wanted to talk with the North Korean women. “Face cam,” it’s called. But most of the time, they wanted the other option: “body cam.”
Watching through a smartphone app, the men would ask the women, some of the unknown thousands of North Koreans sold to Chinese husbands and living secretly in northern China, to show their breasts or their backsides, to touch themselves or perform sex acts on one another.
Most of the time, the women did as requested. They needed the money — even if it amounted to only a few dollars a day.
“In the beginning, I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I thought it would be okay because I wasn’t actually sleeping with anyone,” said Suh, who had been one of the legions of North Korean women performing online sex work in back rooms in China. “But then I found out how many perverts there are out there.”
“There are some people who just want to look at your face, but the majority of them are there for their sexual desires,” Suh said, putting her head down so her long hair covered her cherubic face. “I felt so disgusting.”
Suh decided to try to leave China, along with the two others. They found out about Park and Kim Sung-eun, a pastor from the Caleb Mission, a church in South Korea that helps bring defectors to safety, and asked to be helped out. For the second time in their lives, they escaped, this time to a safe house in northern China, and from there they made the journey to the border, then walked to Laos.
[The Washington Post]