October 01, 2020

“Heroes who returned to the legal authority”: prominent Cold War-era defectors

Long before the 30,000 defector era, reception was much different for the few who made it

It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that the community of North Korean escapees in the South did not become prominent until the 1990s. With a rapid increase in numbers, their testimonies became the primary method of studying North Korean society.

Yet, the history of this community precedes the 1990s by decades, and in this column, I would like to focus on some prominent people who fled from the North to the South during the Cold War.