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Perilous Journeys: The Plight Of North Koreans In China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the factors leading to cross-border migrations in North Korea and then describes the politically charged but fragile and increasingly mercenary networks through which North Koreans seek refuge. China’s repatriation policy and South Korea’s ambivalent postures have resulted in the networks to explore various other alternatives, testing the limits of Beijing and Pyongyang’s tolerance. Although indifference and fears of mass migration have kept relevant governments from pressing for a halt to all forced repatriation or pursuing the quiet cooperation necessary to protect the asylum seekers. The chapter identifies practicable strategies to access, relocate and resettle the most exposed while relieving some of the pressures to escape.

Keywords: China; North Korea; repatriation policy; underground railway



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