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Comprehensive Consultation Call Center for North Korean Defectors 1577-6635
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All Kinds of Campers for All Kinds of Tours
NKRF Date 2021-09-17 Hit 69

 


All Kinds of Campers for All Kinds of Tours

                                      



There was a young North Korean refugee who wanted to be a driver. He is Kim Eun-chul, who entered South Korea in June 2006. He majored in the Department of Automotive Engineering at college and worked at a company related to cars, and now he has decided on the challenge of setting up his own RV company this year.



On the Brink of Abandonment
Was it the border where he lived? Kim Eun-chul’s first defection from North Korea began when he was a student who had not yet completed middle school. After defecting from North Korea, he was arrested by the police while living in China, and was sentenced to one year in China and then one year in prison upon returning to North Korea. With his second defection, he was arrested in Dandong and transferred to the Security Department in Sinuiju. Since Sinuiju and his hometown Onseong were far from each other, there were no security or relatives to pick him up, so he was left unattended.
It wasn't until six months later that people who were asked by the security guards came to pick him up. They were doing business in Sinuiju, and fortunately, they knew him, so they brought Kim, who was suffering from severe malnutrition, back to his hometown safely. He suffered so much at that time that he promised to himself countless times that he would never defect again. He reset his mind, started to work, and got a job with the motto ‘Stay Good’. Two years passed, but the word 'refugee' still bothered him because his mother and older sister had already been to South Korea. Then his third escape from North Korea went smoothly, probably because he had decided to die if he wouldn’t have made it.
Kim left North Korea in February 2006 and entered South Korea safely in June of that year.




People Go to the Top Priority
Unable to graduate from middle school, he went through the process of accrediting his academic background through the GED at an alternative school for North Korean defectors and entered Doowon Technical University in 2009, which had a Department of Automotive Engineering. Most defectors had to choose a completely new job that had nothing to do with their education or occupation in North Korea, which naturally led to a lot of difficulties in the early days of settlement, but there were no such worries for him because he loved cars.

He studied hard and was able to complete the entire course as a scholarship student. And when he had some free time on weekends, he volunteered at a shelter for the disabled with local North Korean defectors. After the third semester, he went out for field training and he came to like it, so he decided to get a job right away. If he had started out of curiosity or with a simple interest in cars, he might not have come to today.
A few years ago, he heard that the RV market was growing. In Korea, ‘chabak camping’ (a kind of camping where people sleep in their RVs) is just beginning, but in Europe, there are many countries where ‘chabak camping’ has already been established as a culture.
He began to turn his attention to campervans. The woodworking skills he had learned in middle school classes played a big role. However, doing what he wanted to do and what he liked to do did not mean that everything went smoothly and that there were always good days.
Those who rented campers as well as those who entrusted the production of the camper by purchasing buses or vehicles themselves had many questions. In addition to this, there were more elderly people who had retired from their companies and enjoyed 'chabak camping' as a hobby, than younger ones, so there were people who watched the whole production process on the spot. Even after answering the questions, it wasn't long before he had to repeat answering the same questions again. To meet the production schedule, he had to stay up all night, but he still couldn't ignore the customer's questions. He was too young to hold back his anger, he quarreled with his boss over his grueling schedule, and quit the company after six months.

But a few days later, seeing a customer calling again and asking for help, he began to reflect on how he had been careless. It was after that incident that he began to think about how important it was to establish good relations with his colleagues.
The whole atmosphere at the workplace changed with this new . He didn't dare hide that he was a North Korean defector as he spoke a dialect unconsciously while talking with co-workers or customers. When he revealed that he was a North Korean defector, there were people who were surprised, but no one expressed negative emotions or degraded him. Rather, they showed him their interest in North Korean defectors, encouraging his talents and wishing him good luck.




Set the Bar Higher
When Mr. Kim first started making campervans, this field was only beginning, but as time goes on, the prospects for the field are getting brighter. There is a flood of news that the weekend reservations for famous camping sites are full, and online shopping related to camping and the sale of used camping equipment increased by 30% compared to the previous year. All of this is a strong indicator of a promising future.
Until recently, he was only thinking about importing, producing, selling, after-sales service of campervans, and rental and sales of camping equipment. Now, he is also expanding his horizons:
camper rental business, camping, and parking lot management. Since graduating from university in 2010, he has been working in the automobile industry, so his career has already been over 10 years, which means there is no unexpected obstacle on the road, such as customer management, product management, or requisite skills.


In February of this year, he founded Daemyung Camping Car, a camper manufacturer. There are still many things to do, including establishing funds. So, for some time now, he has been participating in entrepreneurship education sponsored by the Korea Hana Foundation and conducted by the Asan Nanum Foundation. As it is tailored for prospective entrepreneurs, he says, it is a very necessary education for beginners like him. Until last year, he worked as a team leader and deputy manager at the top company in the Korean RV industry, but now he is working hard on education like a beginner.
CEO Kim Eun-cheol, who says that he dreamed of becoming a driver while watching a local tractor when he was a boy, now dreams of becoming a leader in the RV industry that will produce great campers that will run throughout the world beyond Korea.

 

There was a young North Korean refugee who wanted to be a driver. He is Kim Eun-chul, who entered South Korea in June 2006. He majored in the Department of Automotive Engineering at college and worked at a company related to cars, and now he has decided on the challenge of setting up his own RV company this year.