Asia Rights

Journal of Human Rights, Media and Society in Asia and the Pacific

North Korean Diaspora and Re-migration

Until recently, South Korea has been the final destination for most North Korean refugees and other returning ethnic Koreans. However, the situation is changing in that an increasing number of individuals who have settled in the South are now leaving the country and heading for North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region, including Australia and Japan.

In some cases, persons from North Korea and Northeast China are seeking to go directly to overseas countries without arriving/settling in South Korea at all. The forms and patterns which this new phenomenon of Korean onward-migration takes are diverse, and, at times, antagonistic to the borders of nation-states. What is clear is that a number of questions need to be asked in order to shed light on the transnational aspects of a North Korean diaspora that remains largely invisible to scholarly circles, policy-makers, and the general public alike.

These publications, on the Korean diaspora and onward-migration, represent an effort to understand these phenomena and the historical, social, and political contexts in which they are embedded. It is hoped that this work will offer a strong starting point on discussions of transnational Korean migration, and stimulate collaboration amongst scholars and policy makers to better prepare for the growing North Korean communities within, and outside of, Northeast Asia.

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