September 21, 2023
Ask A North Korean

Settling in Seoul: How have you changed 10 years after escaping North Korea?

Without friends or family, one defector reached a breaking point before resolving to build a life he could be proud of

“Settling in Seoul” is an NK News series in which North Korean defectors share their experiences adapting to life in South Korea.

David — who was born and raised in North Korea and lived there until he defected in 2012 — writes about his first decade in South Korea, how he overcame extreme loneliness, graduated college and built a life he is proud of.