Difficulties North Korean refugees face in Canada


The tweets and emails kept popping up yesterday in reaction to the compelling story of Shin Dong-hyuk, his harrowing life and his escape from North Korea's Camp 14. One of the reasons his story is so jarring is that few North Koreans ever talk about the life from which they manage to escape, the fear of retribution keeps them silent even here in Canada. Today, we hear from a North Korean man who managed to come to Canada and the Canadian from South Korea who helps others like him adapt to a life away from the oppressive control of North Korea's unflinching leaders.

Part One of The Current


It's Tuesday, May 15th.

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This is The Current.

Difficulties North Korean refugees face in Canada

Yesterday on the program, we brought you the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in North Korea's prison camp Number 14 who has ever escaped. And as a result, Shin was sentenced to a life of hunger, forced labour and unrelenting cruelty. But Shin Dong-hyuk broke the ultimate rule of Camp 14. He risked his life and escaped. He now lives in Seoul, South Korea.

The actual number of North Korean refugees is hard to pin down. In part, that's because once North Koreans get out of their country, they often fade away for fear of being forced to return or fear of what will happen to relatives behind.

Chris Kim is a Canadian who was born and raised in South Korea. He's a director at the Korean Canadian Cultural Association and he helps North Koreans who've fled here to find their way in Canada. And Tae Sut Huh is from North Korea and is hoping to get refugee status in Canada. They were both in Toronto.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar.

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