Escape from Camp 14

Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle” Character Analysis

Kim Jun Myung, who goes by the nickname “Uncle,” is Shin’s cellmate during his time in the underground prison of Camp 14. Uncle is a kind, educated man—Shin assumes that he must have been someone important before he was sent to Camp 14. He takes good care of Shin, even treating his wounds resourcefully, and he also tells Shin entertaining stories about life outside Camp 14. In all, Uncle is the first person in Shin’s entire life to treat him with consistent kindness and respect.

Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle” Quotes in Escape from Camp 14

The Escape from Camp 14 quotes below are all either spoken by Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle” or refer to Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle”. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Escape from Camp 14 published in 2013.
Chapter 7 Quotes

It was Shin's first exposure to sustained kindness, and he was grateful beyond words. But he also found it puzzling. He had not trusted his mother to keep him from starving.

Related Characters: Shin In Geun / Shin Dong-hyuk, Jang Hye Gyung / Shin’s Mother, Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle”
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

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Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle” Character Timeline in Escape from Camp 14

The timeline below shows where the character Kim Jin Myung / “Uncle” appears in Escape from Camp 14. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7: The Sun Shines Even on Mouse Holes
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...his fifties, and his name is Kim Jin Myung—however, he asks that Shin call him “Uncle.” Uncle treats Shin’s burns, scraping away the pus and treating the wounds with salty cabbage.... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
...day, the guards take Shin out of his cell and demand that he inform on Uncle. Back in the cell later, Shin tells Uncle what he’s been asked to do—Uncle doesn’t... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
...his school uniform and order him to change. Before the leaving the cell, Shin grasps Uncle’s hands. He’s never loved or trusted anyone the way he’s come to love and trust... (full context)
Chapter 12: Sewing and Snitching
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...his middle finger with a knife. Shin isn’t given much medical treatment, but, remembering how Uncle treated his wounds with salty cabbage, he dips his wound in soup, and succeeds in... (full context)