Crossing Heaven's Border

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After the division of Korea in World War II, North Korea introduced communism into their country aiming to create a country where everyone was equally wealthy. However, unlike the expectation, NK’s national plans didn’t work out well, and North Koreans started to suffer from political oppression and chronic food shortages. North Koreans who could not stand the situation in their home country started fleeing from North to South Korea. first broadcast in July 2007 reveals the 10 day journey of the North Korean defectors who cross several border to settle in South Korea. The journey of North Korean defectors begins in Tumen and Yalu river, the rivers defectors have to cross to reach Shenyang, a city in China. As soon as they arrive in China, North Korean defectors always have to be careful. This is because they can be caught by Chinese authorities that repatriate defectors back to their home country, where they face cruel punishments. Often, defectors temporarily settle in Shenyang to raise money before they smuggle into South. Some women defectors are even tempted into sex industries, and they often lose their opportunity to reach South Korea. Those who successfully depart Shenyang ride on an illegal bus for 10 hours that takes them to Beijing. In Beijing, group of defectors spread out themselves and melt into the crowd to avoid authority until they board a train to Kunming. On the train, the defectors hide themselves from Chinese officials’ inspection by either leaving their seat or pretending to sleep when the officials are around. After three tenth days, they arrive in Kunming. From there, they face another 8 hour drive through the mountains toward the jungle border with Laos. Even for North Korean defectors who are chastened by adversities, crossing the jungle, which takes 18 hours on foot, is strenuous. Finally, after they cross another border to Thailand from Laos, the defectors can apply for asylum at the South Korean embassy in Bangkok, and their long...
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