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Migration Experiences Of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence From China

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Chapter Summary

Chronic food shortages, political repression, and poverty have driven tens of thousands of North Koreans into China. This chapter reports results from a large-scale survey of this population. The first section of the chapter outlines the nature of the survey, providing basic demographic information on the sample and discusses its representativeness vis-à-vis both the North Korean and refugee populations. The second section examines the reasons why refugees left North Korea and the third section focuses on how the refugees organise escape and establish lives in China. In the fourth and fifth sections, the chapter extends this analysis of objective conditions to a more detailed consideration of the psychology of the refugees. The sixth section of the chapter further examines the refugees' experiences in China in the context of their aspirations for the future, including preferences for permanent resettlement. The findings and their relevance are summarised in the concluding section.

Keywords: food shortages; Korean-Chinese community; North Korean refugees; permanent resettlement; political repression; poverty; psychological distress



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