February 25, 2024

Why thousands of Japanese-Koreans left for new lives in North Korea

The strange history of Chongryon and the mass exodus to the DPRK

This is the first part of a three-part series by Andrei Lankov on how Zainichi Koreans shaped the history of the DPRK. Read part two here.

In December 1959, the first group of ethnic Koreans from Japan boarded a Soviet ship in Niigata. The atmosphere aboard was festive, and the ship's destination was the North Korean city of Wonsan.