Human Rights Activist from North Korea, London, United Kingdom
Kim Joo-il was born in 1973 in North Korea. He defected in August 2005 and now lives in the UK. He joined the military in the early 1990s and worked his way up to captain. In the military he started questioning his education, wondering whether other societies could be better. So he decided to defect. He crossed the border river into China, where he stayed for a year. An NGO helped him into Vietnam. Seeing the lack of democracy there, he moved on to Cambodia. After crossing into Thailand, he finally arrived in the UK as an illegal immigrant in October 2007. He was accepted as an asylum seeker and now has a family in the UK. He has one child.