His hope in life was to be a model prisoner and be granted marriage like his father -- that is, until he learned another world existed outside camp No.14. A new inmate who had been in China and other Asian countries told him stories and taught him his first song. Shin had never heard a song, let alone music of any sort except the bells that rang to signal time of day.
So when he agreed to escape the barbed wires of his prison camp with the new inmate, it was not that he felt injustice or anger. Shin said he was "just curious, that's all." His fellow escapee died burnt and stuck to the electric wired fences -- a tragic twist, but for Shin it created an opportunity. He was able to safely crawl over the dead body as protection from getting electrified.
Crawling through, his legs got caught temporarily, leaving another unforgettable scar in addition to his burnt back and cut knuckle. But as he ran bleeding to find the new world, he did not imagine where he stands now.
In South Korea, Shin is telling the world about the secret atrocities of the North Korean regime and the political prison camp No.14. He gave testimony at Britain's House of Lords this year and hopes to do the same in the United States Congress. Privately, he dreams of going to college and becoming a policeman.