December 09, 2023

Race to freedom: New escape room simulates experience of North Korea defection

First-of-its-kind installation in Seoul uses interactive storytelling to raise awareness about DPRK human rights

Portraits of the former North Korean leaders hang overhead as the escape plan rumbles into motion. The would-be defectors move toward the border, where they struggle to deactivate lasers that would alert guards to their presence. Bullets whiz by as they ford through the icy waters of a narrow river crossing.

Their journey follows the path to freedom that thousands of DPRK refugees have taken in recent decades — except for a key difference: Those fleeing are South Koreans, and they’re escaping a shipping container in the middle of Seoul.