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How should we look at North Korean defectors?


Every year people in North Korea escaped from their own country. According to Professor Christoph Bluth in his article "The North Korean who went home: many defectors struggle against discrimination in the South, Published: on January 7, 2022", about 300,000 North Koreans have defected from their country since the end of the Korean war.


About 30,000 people settled in South Korea, and we call them "Saeteomin" meaning the newly settled or simply "North Korean defectors". For many people in this status, life is not as easy as they would hope. They might have escaped from poverty, but they are facing an invisible social caste.


This is a serious issue that we South Koreans need to act on. It is shocking that 90% of North Korean refugees did not choose to come to South Korea, where they can speak their own language.



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