June 04, 2023

What is life like for North Koreans in Britain?

Some 700 North Koreans now live in the UK – what role could they have when the peninsula is unified?

More and more North Koreans are living in Britain, with the number seeing a steep hike between 2006 and 2009, although many North Koreans believed to be refugees in the UK are not "genuine" ones as they didn’t come directly from North Korea, but from South Korea.

The South Korean government accepts North Koreans as its citizens because its constitution defines its territory as the entire Korean Peninsula. After a three-month interrogation process and another three months of rehabilitation, North Koreans who arrive in South Korea become South Korean citizens, an identity with which they can also apply for passports and travel to more than 100 countries visa-free.