Scars of the Heart: Hosurl Pak


Mr. Hosurl Pak says he still regrets leaving North Korea in 1950 without saying goodbye to his father, mother and five younger brothers.

When he went to South Korea with the U.S. forces, he, like many others, thought he would be gone only a few months.

Both his parents died in 1954, leaving his brothers as orphans.
Mr. Pak imagines it must have been very tough for them.

He says he misses everything about his hometown: the people, the land, and his family.

His most vivid childhood memory is studying hard.

“Many nights you got to stay up till the wee hours, at least past midnight, so my memory of my [childhood] is study, study, study, all the time. Even my father prepared very [strong] tea so that I won’t be dozing or sleeping, and he sits beside me, helping me study. That was hard but … [those were] happy days.”

The family was not rich, but comfortable, he said, which irritated the communists.

He was grateful to be able to live in South Korea — and now in the U.S. he leads a better life — but he feels bad for those whom he left behind.

Should he ever see his brothers again, he wants to tell them,
“Thank you for living, so we could meet again.”


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