September 21, 2020

“Ms. Wang” and the curious case of North Korea’s Chinese citizens

Understanding the DPRK's Chinese minority and what their future holds

Let me introduce Ms. Wang, who I met a couple of weeks ago in China, and who was kind enough to tell me about her family’s small-scale business. Needless to say, it involves North Korea - otherwise, why would we talk about it at NKNews?

Ms. Wang (not her real name, of course) is a peculiar person – or, rather, a person of unusual legal standing. She is Hwagyo (of, if you use the Chinese pronunciation of the same characters, huaqiao): a member of a small community of ethnic Chinese who permanently reside in North Korea while retaining citizenship of the People’s Republic.