Unusual Social Experiences during Sojourn in the Third Countries and the Health of North Korean Defectors

Dongsik Kim, Seoul National University
Youngtae Cho, Seoul National University
Okryun Moon, Seoul National University

The number of North Korean defectors entering South Korea to seek permanent residency has notably increased recently. This population is unusual in terms of their experience in the third countries they had to pass before they finally enter South Korea. This study examines the health of North Korean defectors who currently reside in South Korea, focusing on three social characteristics unique to this population as fugitives that may have important impact on their health: duration of exile in the third country, major third country during the exile, and with whom they are accompanied during the exile. Health is measured by self-assessment of global health. Data are gathered from the North Korean defectors (n=221, aged 20 and more) housed in Hanawon, a governmental facility that houses all North Korean defectors for eight weeks to help them adjust to South Korean society.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology