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Apparently prohibited from using a pen or pencil, a South Korean man held in a Chinese jail has used tiny letters cut from a Bible to paste together a letter that was somehow smuggled to his family.
Radio Free Asia reports Young-hoon Choi is serving a five-year sentence for helping defectors from North Korea in the northern Chinese port city of Yantai across from the Korean Peninsula.
“Someone mailed me a letter from my husband,” the man’s wife, Bong-soon Kim, told RFA. “I think this person secretly received it from my husband in the prison. … He cut out letters that he needed from the Bible and pasted them onto the paper one by one.”
Kim says she visited her husband during his trial and discovered the Chinese had taken away his glasses.
“He has very poor eyesight,” she told RFA. “As you know, letters in the Bible are quite small. It is painful to think that he had to cut out every single letter and pasted them onto a paper without even glue to send his heart to us.”
In his letter, Choi urged his family to support one another in his absence.
“As you know, I am suffering in prison not for doing evil but for doing good,” he wrote. “So I hope that you will not be ashamed of your father for being in prison. I am spending time every day thinking of you and your mother and serving God.”
Kim says her husband began helping North Korean defectors after visiting China on business trips. She has contacted the South Korean government hoping for assistance in freeing Choi.
“The government tells me not to worry, saying that it is continuously requesting China for an early release but no progress has been made. So as his family we are having a very hard time,” Kim told RFA.
Choi’s letter continued:
“I would like to tell my beloved wife that I love her truly and faithfully. I also want to say that I am sorry and grateful. To you, I am a sinner.
“Listen, my children. During my absence, respect my beloved wife, your mother. And I hope that you, Sun-hee and Soo-jee, will love each other and make your mother happy every day by being earnest, diligent, and cheerful good daughters.”