Foreign Correspondent on ABC
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Tonight | Foreign Correspondent on ABC and ABC iview

Foreign Correspondent on ABC – They’re the refugees from North Korea’s hermit kingdom who overcome huge odds to escape to a new life in South Korea.

Most of them are women and the journey they undertake is a perilous one.

Many are influenced to leave after viewing smuggled South Korean TV dramas which showcase a life of freedom and opportunity.

But the reality is often very different. Instead of finding happiness they are overcome with loneliness and isolation.  

On arrival, often after harrowing experiences at the hands of human traffickers, they are placed in a training school and taught how to live in the modern world, South Korean style.  

Once on the outside, their accent, clothing and behaviour often make them stand out, and they struggle to assimilate, some often barely surviving.

Those who do escape are known as defectors and they rarely speak out publicly.

This week on Foreign Correspondent reporter Naomi Selvaratnam meets some of the North Korean women who are trying to make new lives for themselves in South Korea and asks them: Has their escape been worth it?

Foreign Correspondent – Thursday 27 April, 2023 at 8:00pm on ABC and ABC iview

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