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Author Topic: Beyond Borders: Life on the Outside for North Korean Defectors  (Read 4404 times)

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March 29, 2015, 04:48:10 AM
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Offline Peter

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I clearly remember reading years ago, with no small amount of shock, that North Koreans in South Korea face discrimination. I hadn't given the subject much thought beforehand, but it's fair to say I had a rather naive notion that life in South Korea after escaping the North equated to the "and they lived happily ever after" ending of most fairy tales. I'm exaggerating slightly - I'm not that naive, but I certainly thought that North Koreans here would be embraced more and their lives easier than most of the following articles indicate.

While volunteering with Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) last week, I spoke with a defector who reminded me rather starkly of this issue when she simply said: "They don't like us." It is a sentiment echoed in the winning speech at the recent TNKR speech contest which I had the pleasure of attending:
When I was 19 years old, I attended a high school in Busan. I eventually made friends, and one guy, who's now a very close friend, told me he didn't sleep on the first night I arrived. When I asked him why, he responded: "I thought you might stab me during the night and flee back to North Korea."

I have been bookmarking North Korea-related articles for a while now and thought it time to post a list of articles that concern the lives of North Koreans living beyond the borders of their homeland. Before I begin, here is the first defector account I read. The portion I typed out concerns not his life in North Korea, but his first experiences in South Korea. This account holds special significance for me because his first experiences in South Korea where with Korea's notorious JMS cult - the cult my site chiefly concerns. His account, while hopefully unique, illustrates as good as any the fact that life after escaping North Korea is not all Choco Pies and smiles.

October 28: Aid Group Believes Half of All NK Defectors Suffer Trauma Disorders (Voice of America)

June 1: NK Harassing Families of Defectors (The Chosun Ilbo)

May 16: NK Defectors Fail to Adapt to Life Away From Home (The Chosun Ilbo)
July 14: Strangers at Home: North Koreans in the South (Crisis Group)

March 21: NK Woman Finds Jobs for Other Defectors in Seoul

July 12: Young NK Defectors Struggle in the South (The New York Times)

October 24: Female NK Defectors Suffer Depression, Sexual Abuse (Hankyoreh)

October 26: NK Defectors Report Abuse After Arriving in SK (Hankyoreh)

Unwelcome Migrants: The Plight of NK Refugees in China (US Korean Institute)

July 2: NK Defectors Struggle to Cope in Seoul (ABC News Australia)

July 26: NK Defectors Face Long Road to Integration in South (DW)

December 15: Canada Closing Door on NK Refugees (The Toronto Star)

March 5: The NK Deectors Who Want to Return Home (BBC)

March 18: NK Defectors Ambivalent About Life in the South (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 25: Horrors of NK: After Escaping Oppression, Defectors Face Discrimination & Fraudsters (The Asahi Shimbun)

April 1: NK Refugees Mostly Satisfied in SK (Wall St. Journal)

April 2: Getting Out of NK is Only Part of the Problem (Index on Censorship)

April 30: Seoul Asylum: The Brutal Existence of NK Defectors (Vice)

May 2: Life As A North Korean Defector:
Life as a North Korean Defector

July 23: NK Defectors, Helpers Arrested in China (The Chosun Ilbo)

July 25: Arrested NK Defectors Include Senior Officers' Families (The Chosun Ilbo)

August 8: Resettling in South Korea: Challenges for Young North Korean Refugees (The Asan Institute for Policy Studies)

September 11: Canada Slammed Door Shut to NK Escapees (The Tyee)

September 23: What's Keeping Door Shut to North Koreans Seeking Haven in Canada? (The Tyee)

October 20: Inside the Fascinating Lives of NK Defectors (Mother Jones)

October 27: NK Defector: I Still Cannot Forgive Myself (The Guardian)

October 29: NK Defectors & Their Skeptics (The Diplomat)

November 10: Learning English Opens Defectors’ Eyes to the World (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Program Offers Free Job Training for NK Defectors (The Chosun Ilbo)

December 22: NK Refugees Unwelcome by Half of S.Koreans (The Korea Times)

December 24: New Pact Could Protect NK Defectors in China (The Chosun Ilbo) I'm not holding my breath...

March 29, 2015, 08:05:27 AM
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Offline Peter

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Re: Beyond Borders: Life on the Outside for North Korean Defectors
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 08:05:27 AM »
January 6: NK Deserter Dies After Killing 4 in China (Chosun Ilbo)

January 21: Voices of NK: Teenager Surprised at South's Competitiveness & Materialism (UPI)

February 10: Defectors Work More & Make Less (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Nearly Half of NK Defectors Unemployed (The Chosun Ilbo)

February 11: SK Seeks to Help NK Refugees Abroad (Yonhap News)
SK Must Give Defectors Real Opportunities (The Chosun Ilbo)

February 28: From Defector to Licensed Pharmacist (Korea JoongAng Daily)

March 3: Indifferent or Awkward: What Happens When North & South Koreans Meet? (The Guardian)
Fame for NK Defectors Brings Money & Suspicion (Reuters)

March 4: NK Defectors Call for Better Awareness on Their Plight (The Korea Times)
Defector Empowerment in SK: Implications for NK's Future (John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies)

March 6: An Interview with NK Defectors (Harvard Political Review)

March 7: NK Propaganda Video Targets Another Defector (NK News)

March 9: NK Defectors, S. Koreans View Each Other Negatively (NK News)
Toronto's N. Koreans Face Deportation (Now Toronto)

March 10: More Defectors Turn Away from SK (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 12: Stop Discrimination Against NK Defectors (The Chosun Ilbo)
Most Defectors Suffer from Depression (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 14: People Smugglers Tie NK Defectors into Crippling Debt (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 15: Female NK Defectors Prone to Cancer-Causing Virus (The Korea Herald)

March 17: More NK Defectors Driven to Crime (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 20: Canada’s Safe Countries Bill Slams Doors on NK Defectors (David McKie)
Only one NK defector was granted asylum in Canada in 2014, a stark difference from the 222 who were granted refugee status in 2012.
March 24: NK Defectors in SK Leave Detention Center Misinformed (UPI)

March 25: NK Defectors Ill Prepared to Face S.Korean Society (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 26: Resettlement Program for Defectors Needs Total Overhaul (The Chosun Ilbo)

March 30: Project Helps Defectors Adjust to a New Society (Korea JoongAng Daily)

April 6: NK Defectors Turn to Alternative Schools (The Chosun Ilbo)

May 6: Defectors Ignore NK Leader’s Order to Return (Radio Free Asia)
Korea University to Help NK Defectors Adapt to South (Chosun Ilbo)

May 20: NIS Agent Gets 4 Years Prison for Framing Defector (The Korea Herald)

June 3: North Korean Migrants in China: Neither Trafficked nor Smuggled (Open Democracy)

June 5: NK Defectors Hired as Caddies After Assimilation Program (The Chosun Ilbo)

June 7: What South Korea Is Doing For These North Koreans Will Move You To Tears (Korea Boo)

June 12: Chinese Army Kills Suspected NK Defector (The Chosun Ilbo)

June 17: Why Are NK Defectors Being Turned Away in Europe? (The Diplomat)

June 25: When North Koreans Go South, Some Go Professional (38 North)

July 1: Mass Wedding for NK Defectors Held in Seoul (The Chosun Ilbo)
Finding Hope in a Trash Can: How an NK Boy Kept Himself From Starving & Made it to America (Washington Post)

July 5: 80% of NK Defectors are Female (The Korea Herald)

July 6: NK Defector’s Tale Won’t be Told in SK (Korea JoongAng Daily)

July 17: Young NK Defectors Find Lifeline in Friendly School in South (John Power - Christian Science Monitor)
A Rare North Korean in Los Angeles Just Wants to Blend in (Southern California Public Radio)

July 22: NK Human Trafficking Survivor Vows to Empower New Malden Refugees by Teaching English (SW Londoner)

July 28: After Leaving NK, Writers Are Penning Stories About Their Home (LA Times)

August 8: Reverend Helps North Koreans Defect to South (Korea JoongAng Daily)

August 15: A North Korean Defector’s Regret (The New York Times) (Defector stories don't get crazier than this!)

August 17: NK Defectors Arrested on Drug Use & Trafficking Charges (UPI)
Police Nab NK Defectors for Alleged Drug Use (Yonhap News)

August 19: Hope For NK Refugees In UK Through New Support Projects (Migrant Voice)

August 25: NK Defector Speaks Out For Freedom (John Redmond for The Korea Times)

September 3: Freedom Speech Contest For NK Defectors (Atlas Network)

September 9: More NK Defectors Report Dissatisfaction With Life in South (UPI)

September 11: Defectors in SK Dying of Suicide, Unknown Reasons (NK News)

September 18: Male Defectors Struggle in SK Job Market (NK News)

September 24: Claims Defector Wants to Return to NK Met With Mixed Reactions (NK News)

September 26: Teach NK Refugees, Seoul (On The Ground NGO)

September 27: Almost 700 NK Defectors' Whereabouts Unknown (Yonhap News)
Whereabouts of NK Defectors Unknown (The Korea Times)