June 02, 2023

The violence won’t stop: North Korean women relive sexual assault in South Korea

Women defectors face sex trafficking and violence during their escape. But 1 in 4 face even more violence in the South.

Editor’s note: This article contains details of sexual violence against women.

Every week, 53-year-old Lee Soon-sil visits an eastern medicine clinic to treat her aching knees. Already, more than a decade has passed since she first defected from North Korea, and yet she still suffers from injuries caused by the abuse and imprisonment she faced in the DPRK and China.