The character of Park Yong Chul in Escape from Camp 14 from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Escape from Camp 14

Perhaps more than any other person, Park Yong Chul is responsible for inspiring Shin to escape from Camp 14. Park is a humble, intelligent man, who’s sent to Camp 14 after he flees the country and then tries to return. In Camp 14, Park quickly befriends Shin (who’s been sent to spy on Park), and entertains him with vivid descriptions of the delicious food and beautiful sights outside the camp. Together, Park and Shin plan to escape from the camp and make their ways to China. Unfortunately, Park dies after he’s electrocuted by the fence surrounding the camp, but Shin continues on without him.

Park Yong Chul Quotes in Escape from Camp 14

The Escape from Camp 14 quotes below are all either spoken by Park Yong Chul or refer to Park Yong Chul. 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 13 Quotes

Intoxicated by what he heard from the prisoner he was supposed to betray, Shin made perhaps the first free decision of his life. He chose not to snitch.

Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

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He began thinking about escape. Park made those thoughts possible. He changed the way Shin connected with other people. Their friendship broke a lifelong pattern—stretching back to Shin's malignant relationship with his mother—of wariness and betrayal.

Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 15 Quotes

What he remembers most clearly about crawling through the fence was that Park's body smelled like it was burning.

Related Symbols: The Electric Fence
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

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Park Yong Chul Character Timeline in Escape from Camp 14

The timeline below shows where the character Park Yong Chul appears in Escape from Camp 14. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13: Deciding Not to Snitch
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Indoctrination and Brainwashing Theme Icon
Shortly after informing on his coworker, Shin begins spying on a new prisoner named Park Yong Chul. Shin is under strict instructions from the superintendent to befriend Park and learn... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Indoctrination and Brainwashing Theme Icon
As time goes on, Park begins to open up about his past. He tells Shin that he is from Pyongyang—to... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Looking back, Shin doesn’t believe that he refused to snitch on Park out of decency—rather, he was being selfish, since he wanted Park to help him escape.... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
In 2003, Park tells Shin, he returned to North Korea to vote in the elections. Elections in North... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Indoctrination and Brainwashing Theme Icon
In particular, Shin is struck by how elegantly Park carries himself when he eats his meals. Even when he is very hungry, Park refuses... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Indoctrination and Brainwashing Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Activism and Indifference Theme Icon
...It’s then that Shin decides that “he had had enough. He begins thinking about escape.” Park makes Shin’s escape possible by inspiring Shin to think about the world outside the camp. (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Park and Shin’s friendship was similar to the friendships that emerged at Nazi concentration camps, Harden... (full context)
Chapter 14: Preparing to Run
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Indoctrination and Brainwashing Theme Icon
Shin and Park develop a plan to escape from Camp 14. Shin will get them over the fence,... (full context)
Chapter 15: The Fence
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
The next morning, Shin and Park wake up and set to work cutting wood for a fire. It is an extraordinary... (full context)
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Around four pm, Shin and Park sneak towards the fence, which is about ten feet high and consists of strands of... (full context)
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
It’s unclear how Shin survived the electric fence, but it appears that Park’s body transmitted the electric current from the fence into the ground. Shin still experienced a... (full context)
Chapter 20: Asylum
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
...Chinese cowhands, neither of whom speak his language. Shin has no idea what to do next—Park had been in charge of planning the duo’s time in China. However, during his time... (full context)
Epilogue: No Escape
Tyranny and the North Korean State Theme Icon
Survival, Self-interest, and Morality Theme Icon
Indoctrination and Brainwashing Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
Activism and Indifference Theme Icon
...about having been an informer at Camp 14, betraying his family, and even crawling over Park’s dead body. Harden is struck by how emotionally Shin speaks—instead of allowing his self-hatred to... (full context)