[UPI] Defector wants to show another side of North Korea: its cuisine

6 Feb 2023

On February 3rd, United Press International (UPI) covered Jessie Kim, a North Korean escapee who was resettled in South Korea and has been spreading North Korean cuisine as a chef and entrepreneur.

NKDB Senior Researcher Seong-Cheol Park appeared in the article, commenting on the challenges that the North Korean escapees face in the resettlement process lately, which result from a sharp decline in the number of North Korean escapees entering South Korea over the past few years in addition to deteriorating inter-Korean relations.

UPI also quoted data from NKDB's Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors in South Korea regarding the difficulties North Korean escapees encounter and the negative sentiments they express as a consequence.

The Seoul-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights says defectors struggle with issues ranging from higher rates of unemployment to difficulties forming close relationships with local South Koreans.

Almost one-fifth of respondents to the group's latest annual survey, released in October, said they had thought about returning to North Korea, while nearly one-third described having feelings of hopelessness.


Fewer defectors arriving has added to the challenges that many face making the transition, Park Seong-cheol, senior researcher at NKDB, said.

"When the number of North Korean defectors grows, it may become simpler to settle new arrivals," Park told UPI. "However, as the number of North Korean escapees newly entering South Korea declines, so does interest in the escapees."

"If inter-Korean relations deteriorate, vigilance against North Koreans rises," Park said. "Conversely, if inter-Korean relations improve, sympathy and support for North Korean defectors rises." 

You can read the full article on UPI website by clicking HERE.