Lured to North Korea on false promises – NKNews Podcast Ep. 240

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From 1959 to 1984, some 93,000 ethnic Koreans voluntarily left Japan to go live in the DPRK. Driven away by discrimination in Japan, and lured by promises of free housing and health care in socialist North Korea, these migrants would arrive in a country far different from the “Workers’ Paradise” that they had been promised. And once there, it wasn’t nearly so easy to leave. This week, Markus Bell joins the NK News podcast to discuss his research into the stories of the many Zainichi Koreans who fled Japan for North Korea — and in some cases fled North Korea to return to Japan. He explains the various push and pull factors that drove ethnic Koreans to the DPRK, the prejudice that they experienced once there and how those who have escaped have struggled to find a country they can call home. Dr. Markus Bell (@mpsbell) is a research fellow at La Trobe University and an adviser to the U.N.'s International Office for Migration. His new book “Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and from North Korea” is available from Berghahn Books. About the podcast: The North Korea News Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot (@JaccoZed) exclusively for NK News, covering all things DPRK — from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field, along with insight from our very own journalists.

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