May 22, 2024

What do the two Koreas mean to third-country born children?

More than 50% of defector schoolchildren are now of third-country origin

When South Koreans hear "defectors," they usually think of Koreans that speak the same language, albeit with the distinctive North Korean dialect. So when you visit a school for defector children in the South, you might wonder why more than half now speak in Chinese.

"My name is Chun-mi, and in Chinese pronunciation, it's Chun Mei (春美)," says one student at the Durihana International School, an alternative school for defector children in Seoul.

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