Learning Liberty (2010): There are 20,000 defectors from North Korea in South Korea, but escape from that regime is only the start of their battle for a better life. Will they adjust to life in the modern peninsula?
For similar stories, see:
N. Korea’s Brainwashed Defectors Can’t Cope in the Outside World
The North Korean Football Star Born and Raised in Japan (2010)
The South Koreans Who Attend Their Own Funerals
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A school has been set up to help the defectors adjust to their new life despite opposition from local residents who saw “communists as having horns or being scary”, or indeed being “criminals”. As the principal of the school says “everything is a challenge”, from physical ailments caused by famine to having to “unlearn” a lifetime’s worth of indoctrination. Many fled because the famine proved too much to bear. Around 80% have seen close relatives starve. The school does what it can to help these people adjust but the “culture shock” as the school’s Director describes it, is “vast”. We can only hope that having survived the famine, they can now survive their free and competitive new home.
SBS Australia – Ref. 4957
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