North Korea keeps its citizens on a pretty tight leash this means that most
people aren’t allowed to leave some of them successfully escaped but they risk everything in doing so stay tuned until the end to see how a man became the first North Korean to escape from a maximum-security internment camp
Now here are 10 unique ways to escape North Korea that really happened.
10-Athletes have a better chance at escaping North Korea than most residents this is because they unlike so many other North Koreans are allowed to leave their home country to compete in international tournaments in fact this practice is essential in order for North Korea’s athleticism to be displayed on the world stage you might think that the Olympics would be the perfect opportunity for athletes to defect yet only a single North Korean Olympian has done so this is because Olympic athletes are under heavy surveillance in host cities and they are told that if they manage to evade surveillance and affect their families back in North Korea will be punished. But one athlete did escape North Korea in this manner his name was Yi Chang su a former professional judo athlete who defected in 1991 while competing in Spain he had previously been sent to a work camp after losing to a South Korean in the Beijing Asian Games since only a medal win ensures North Korean athletes safety from punishment and that the medals belong to the country and not the athletes he saw no benefit of continuing to compete for his home country his family were indeed punished for his transgression they were sent to a work camp and his brother was never seen again.
9-civilians aren’t the only people that defect from North Korea soldiers do as well and often their best bet is by crossing the dmz by now most of you guys should be aware of the dmz it is the Demilitarized Zone and no-man’s land of sorts separating North and South Korea it’s 155 miles long 2 and a half my why’d and was established in 1953 at the conclusion of the Korean War it is one of the most dangerous places in the world riddled with landmines and barbed wire and guarded on both sides by thousands of soldiers so once in a while and North Korean soldier makes a mad
dash through what could be described as the world’s scariest obstacle course usually they are unsuccessful only for North Korean soldiers are known to have escaped via the DMZ in the last three years but the number of those that have tried and failed is brushed under the rug one soldier that didn’t fail cross the DMZ in late 2017 he was pursued by his fellow North Korean soldiers who were his comrades a second before but he made it to the South Korean side and was found under a pile of leaves so this is
what a person crossing the DMZ has in store for them an easier.
8-An easier way to defect is via the Tumen River which runs along
North Korea’s northern border with China of course when we say easier we mean still really difficult but it’s better than crossing the DMZ while only a
handful of people to factor the DMZ annually a few hundred get across the
Tumen River sanghyeok was one of these now a South Korean artist specializing in anti North Korean propaganda song was just a poor citizen
when he and his father decided to flee to China for its surplus resources what makes the tumen river’ such a popular defecting point is that it’s narrow and shallow meaning that in some places you can cross it on foot however the river was higher than usual when song and his father made their trek in 2001 so his father didn’t make it and song was captured and sent to a prison camp upon release song tried again and succeeded he was carrying photos of his family when he crossed which may have provided the morale boost that he needed
7-Another river that makes up the North Korea China border is the Yalu unlike the tomb in the Yalu is much wider deeper and stronger and requires a vessel to cross unless you’re a very strong swimmer maricon was 17 when she crossed the Yalu River using nothing but her own physical strength the swim was done at nighttime and Nara almost didn’t succeed several times when she landed on China shore Nara was intercepted by a broker who was hired by Nora’s mother to keep her protected authorities and kidnappers her destination was South Korea where her mother was living after she defected from the north two years prior naira travel from China to Myanmar to Thailand to South Korea to finally reunite with her mother today naira Kang is the star of a South Korean reality TV show which focuses on young females that have defected from North Korea.
6-if you’re lucky you could be one of the few North Koreans selected to
study abroad which gives potential defectors a great opportunity to leave
the regime for good still student defectors are rare because usually they have prominent families back home who would suffer as a result
however in 2014 a North Korean attending University in France learned that his father had been removed by Kim jong-un so he fled the students father was an aide to Jang sung tech a high-ranking government official and uncle in law to Kim jong-un who was removed from the regime the year before thus everyone associated with Jang was tracked down and eliminated sensing his own fate hon while studying architecture in France
went on the run Kim Jong Un’s goons were sent after him and hunt warded their kidnapping attempt at Paris’s shall de Gaulle Airport Hans is currently unknown but he remains one of the only North Koreans to escape by studying abroad.
5-If you’re planning on leaving North Korea prepared to get wet most routes leading out of the country are waterlogged and some North Koreans cross whole seas to defect one of these is the Yellow Sea which sits between Korea and China people with access to a boat can covertly leave the shore of North Korea and end up in the waterways of South Korea like the two defectors discovered by the South Korean navy in May 2018 we don’t know how far they traveled in their small boat but imagine their relief when it was a South Korean navy ship that intercepted them rather than one from North Korea some Yellow Sea defectors make the journey without a boat in August 2014 a father and son swam at least one point six miles across the Yellow Sea border at four o’clock in the morning they were spotted by Marines
stationed on a South Korean island after expressing their wishes to defect
the men were adopted by the South Korean government swimming 1.6 miles in rough open water is a no easy task but it still pales in comparison to what other defectors have to do
4-Another sea that leads to freedom is the Sea of Japan which is located to the east of North and South Korea although rare some people make the long perilous journey across this sea to defected Japan rather than South Korea on June 2nd, 2007 a small boat approached Fuuka report in northern Japan a fisherman saw the strange vessel and alerted the proper authorities the Japanese Coast Guard escorted the boat to shore and unloaded the passengers a family of four that claimed they had traveled from North
Korea according to the foursome they had left the totalitarian state hoping to defect to South Korea but as they neared the marine border between the north and the south the security was so tight that they had changed course to Japan they spent six days in the open water traversing the 660 miles Sea of Japan at the speed of 100 miles a day this was only the second recorded instance of North Koreans defecting directly to Japan along with South Korea and China.
3-North Korea also shares a border with Russia on rare occasions a North Korean escapes into Russia rather than the routes we’ve already spoken up out of all the border countries Russia is the least welcoming of North Korean defectors when caught they’re often sent back to North Korea to face harsh punishment one man did manage to cross into Russia and survived years in the tumultuous country before finding asylum in the United States known only by his pseudonym Kim his real name was
concealed to protect his family in North Korea he first tried to defect via China but he was caught and sent to a labor camp upon release he tried again and became one of the few North Koreans to defector Russia since Russia and North Korea are allies Kim was under constant threat of deportation while in Russia’s custody he fought for political asylum from North Korea but never received it allies after three years of struggling Kim was saved by the United States who offered asylum to the North Korean fugitive he left to manifest his destiny in 2017 even some
2-Even some high-ranking officials wish to leave the country that made them and powerful to date the most prominent politician that escaped North Korea was Hwang Jung the man responsible for creating North Korea’s Joo ceo ideology on which the country is run the biggest
obstacles preventing North Korean defects in our land travel opportunities
Hwang Jung yup had both which is why his defection didn’t have to involve dodging soldiers swimming in a river or spending six days on the sea of japan during a diplomatic trip to China who on simply walked into the South Korean embassy in Beijing and announced that he wish to
defect once came jong-il got word of this act of treason he informed the
embassy that retaliation would be swift and harsh as a result the embassy was locked down for three days while Beijing police guarded the premises the retaliation never came for Hwang but it did come for his family
most are thought to be interred in labor camps Hwang was eventually granted asylum by South Korea where he spent the rest of his life writing books criticizing the regime that he helped to build
1-we’ve saved the most remarkable North Korean defector last shin
dong-hyuk is considered the only person to have successfully escaped a total control North Korean internment camp Shin was born in internment camps and spent the entirety of his pre escaped life in the filth cold and destitution of the country secretive system of camps when Shin was 13 he discovered a plot conceived by his mother and brother to escape the camp being conditioned by soldiers to believe that snitching would be rewarded Sheen reported the escape plan to the authorities predictably this decision did not bring any good to shins family later Shin would attempt to
escape multiple times but each time he was captured and once he suffered
harshly for six months as a result in January 2005 when Shin was around 25 years old, he was assigned work to collect firewood near the camp’s
perimeter he and another prisoner noticed that the intervals between the
guards patrols were long so when the guards left again they ran for the fence shins co-conspirator went first but was electrocuted while climbing so Shane used his friend to bypass the electricity and make it over the fence
he wasn’t unscathed however the volts gave him burns and scars that exist to this day he was free which is all that mattered after breaking into a farmers barn and stealing a military uniform Sheehan managed to evade capture and made it to the Tumen River by scrounging stealing
and buying food he bribed the North Korean border guards with food and
cigarettes and shin crossed into China today Shin lives in South Korea and
works as a human rights advocate if anyone was born to have that job
it was shin that’s