North Korean Orphaned Children Forced to Serve in the Military

Amid efforts to maintain cheap manpower for the military, North Korea is sending orphans to man their watchposts. According to North Korean media reports, the orphan children “leave for military posts wearing the military uniform of the revolution.”

The number of orphans in North Korea has exploded in the last couple of years because of the extreme poverty. The food situation was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, when North Korea closed their border and suspended all connection with the outside world. Although the borders with China have been partially opened again, the food shortages are still worse than they were pre-pandemic. Starving parents are forced to abandon their children to go in search of food.

BTJ has worked extensively over the years with orphanages in North Korea providing food, but the number of children has only grown with the recent famine. North Korea sees these children as free labor and has used them to supplement the work of construction crews in the capital city of Pyongyang.

Now, young middle school children are being sent into the military. They do not have a choice.  “The children at orphanages, baby homes and primary and middle schools for orphans are all my sons and daughters,” says the current dictator Kim Jong Un.

This week, BTJ is conducting a tour in the United States to share about the church in North Korea. Sister Esther, a missionary to North Korea, shares about her church planting efforts in the country and how she survived a North Korean prison.

Her miraculous testimony can also be found in her biography, below:

Smuggling Light


Dr. Eugene Bach is a known trouble-maker with an active imagination and sinful past. He has a PhD, but is not a real doctor, so please do not call for him during a medical emergency on an airplane when someone is having a heart attack. Eugene started working for Back to Jerusalem in the year 2000 after a backroom deal involving Chinese spies, the NRA, Swiss bankers, and a small group of Apostolic Christians that only baptize in Jesus’ name. He spends most of his time in closed countries attempting to topple governments by proclaiming the name of Jesus and not taking showers. From time-to-time he pretends to be a writer. He is not good at it, but everyone around him tries to humor him.

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