Interview: The West must stick to marriage says North Korean escapee

Nov 5, 2022

North Korea is one of the most brutal totalitarian regimes in the world today, something which Timothy Cho – who I recently interviewed – knows better than most. He was just a boy when his mother and father, both school teachers, had to run for their lives leaving him alone in North Korea to fend for himself.

Timothy speaks of how difficult it was to grow up without his parents, and how ‘significant’ family is for young children.

Timothy later escaped to China, but was sent back to North Korea and imprisoned. Eventually escaping again, he made it to the UK where 16 years later he now lives with his British wife and they are expecting their second child.

Despite the terrible conditions the ordinary people suffer at the hands of the regime, their close-knit communities place a strong emphasis on the nuclear family. Timothy told me that one of the most unexpected differences he has found in the West is its casual attitude towards marriage and sexuality.

Despite the regime making practising a faith illegal, Timothy believes that it is North Korea’s pre-Communist Christian values which have helped to maintain some strong emphasis on family life.

Timothy now works with cross-governmental groups and international organisations to help the plight of his fellow countrymen. However, attitudes are such in the UK that he sees an equal need for promoting marriage and supporting families here.

At C4M we recognise the unparalleled value that marriage brings to all families, across time and cultures. Governments at home and abroad should recognise this too, and implement policies that encourage couples to marry and stay together. The evidence is quite clear; it’s best for children, adults and wider society.