After reaching South Korea, the journey doesn't end there.
A common language and culture do help in resettling North Korean refugees, who must adjust to the modern world. However, this does not mean this is easy. The outcomes and livelihood of North Koreans who have resettled in South Korea suggest a population facing significant challenges socially, economically, and psychologically – some refugees cite issues as such discrimination within South Korean society, as well as fear of discovery by North Korean infiltrators in South Korea, which includes the risk of reprisal to loved ones left in North Korea.
Here are some staggering statistics on North Koreans living in South Korea.
North Koreans males were found to be 10.1 cm shorter and 11 kg lighter than their South Korean counterparts. North Korean females were found to be 7.2 cm shorter and 3.8 kg lighter.
2/3 of North Korean refugees suffer from PTSD symptoms, including a feeling of helplessness.
- 53.5% of North Korean youth belong to a single parent household (relative to 8.6% of their South Korean counterparts).
There are no other options left.
North Koreans have been able to access the US asylum system ever since the North Korea Human Rights Act (NKHRA) was authorized in 2004. However, in just over a decade of efforts to assist North Korean refugees abroad, the US has admitted less than 200 North Korean refugees. Tragically, as of 2017, the US is no longer accepting North Korean refugees and as of today, the NKHRA remains to be reauthorized.