After This U.S. Soldier Defected To North Korea, A Forced Marriage Ultimately Saved His Life

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: US ARMY/KYODO/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO via BBC

It’s a cold January night on the Korean border, and U.S. sergeant Charles Jenkins is desperate to escape his post. Wandering into the secretive North, he begins an ordeal that will transform his life. But in amongst the beatings and the humiliation, he meets a woman who will change everything.

Image: Starry, Donn A.

Jenkins was born on February 18, 1940, in Rich Square, a town in northern North Carolina. By the time he was a young man, the United States was deeply embroiled in the Vietnam War. And like many of his contemporaries, Jenkins signed up to fight with the U.S. Army.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Wayne Johnson

Jenkins managed to avoid being sent to the frontlines in Vietnam, however. Instead, he was stationed in South Korea and tasked with watching the border with the communist North. And even though his post was a comparatively safe one, he still fretted over what the future might hold.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT