September 23, 2020

North Korean women and ‘common law marriages’ in China

The situation for these women is often dire, but various circumstances can lead to them staying

It is a well-known fact that the North Korean migrant community in South Korea has a gender imbalance which is, frankly, quite unusual. While in most countries male migrants outnumber female migrants, the opposite is true in the case of North Koreans in South Korea.

According to the Ministry of Unification’s (MOU) most recent data, females constituted an impressive 72% of all talbukja -- North Korean migrants recorded to have "escaped" to the South -- over time, and their prominence is even more pronounced among recent arrivals, making-up 83% in 2017 and 85% in 2018.