North Korean defectors

North Korean Defectors

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North Korean defectors

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A number of individuals have defected from North Korea. Since the division of Korea after World War II and the end of the Korean War (1950–1953), many people have defected from North Korea, mainly for political, ideological, religious and economic reasons. The most famous defection occurred after signing of the armistice ending the Korean War, on September 21, 1953, when then 21-year old No Kum-Sok, a senior lieutenant in the North Korean air force, flew his MiG-15 to the South and is associated with Operation Moolah. Considered an intelligence bonanza, since this fighter plane was then the best the Communist bloc had, No was awarded the then immense sum of $100,000 and the right to reside in the United States. An offer to return the MiG was ignored, and the airframe now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio.Many more are caught during the attempted defection. The usual strategy is to cross the border into Jilin and Liaoning provinces in Northeast China before fleeing to a third country, because the People's Republic of China, a close ally of Pyongyang, refuses to grant North Korean defectors refugee status and considers them illegal economic migrants. If the defectors are caught in China, they are repatriated back to North Korea to face years of punishment or even death in North Korean gulags.


Different terms are in official and unofficial use to refer to this group of refugees. On 9 January 2005, the South Korean Ministry......
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