When the Korean War begins in June, 1950, AESOP RHIM was a teenage boy living in Chosan, a town near the Yalu River, in North Korea. His entire high school class was drafted to serve in the war. After his military training ends, Aesop began his long march to the southern front with his army unit, which passes the 38th parallel and he witnessed the ravages of a war-torn South Korea. At a nearby war zone, Aesop's unit served on patrol in what became a battlefield, near the Pusan Perimeter. At the time, Aesop agonized over his conscription in an unwanted war.
Soon after, his unit was attacked by American tanks; chaos and death was everywhere. Aesop jumped into a river and abandoned all belongings that would identify him as a North Korean soldier. He emerged on the other side of the river thankful to be alive. He tried to reach Heungki's house, who was a childhood friend. He, with his family had escaped to South Korea before the war, and exchanged letters with Aesop. On his way, Aesop struggled for an arduous few days of walking on mountain roads. He felt the pain of exhaustion, and starvation. After several deadly skirmishes, he was captured by the South Korean local guards and severely beaten. Death seemed imminent. Aesop prayed for God's mercy while imprisoned. When the South Korean army arrived, the unit officer asked Aesop his identity, and he told him the name of town he is from. The officer was amazed. It turned out that the officer was from that town, and knew Aesop's family. A miracle occurred. The officer separated Aesop from the other prisoners and arranged to give him a temporary South Korean soldier status, allowing Aesop to join the South Korean army, which was advancing toward North Korea.
While Aesop served as a South Korean soldier, he became sick with tuberculosis. He was sent to a sanitarium where he feared death again. However, after he recovered from the illness, the army discharged him from service. When the war ended, Aesop was a young man with no place to stay, but he discovered his destiny as a Christian of deep faith and embarked on a new life journey.
He was able to graduate from a fine arts college in Seoul University to become an artist, eventually immigrating to the United States to attend a graduate art school. There he met his wife, Sunhee, and the young couple moved to Chicago, where Aesop graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate School and settled as an artist in Chicago. Aesop devoted his art to initiating Peace. In 1997, he had the opportunity to travel back to North Korea on a peace initiative mission and was finally reunited with his siblings. There he witnessed the deprivations of North Korea. At the time, Aesop was shocked to learn from his sister that in the winter of 1975, his older brother was sent to a concentration camp along with his family and his mother. It was a devastating moment for Aesop, but he prayed for God's guidance and mercy for his remaining family. When Aesop returned from Pyongyang, he attended a seminary. In 2001, he encountered 9/11terrorism in New York, and resolved to use his art as a tool for peace. He created the Prayer for Peace exhibitions, shown in many places in the United States to this day. Aesop's artistic efforts reflected his prayer for peace. In the meantime, Aesop dedicated himself to missions for peace to the world, such as Mexico and Uganda and began sending medical supplies to North Korea. And finally, Aesop's Prayer for Peace became Aesop's life and art.