Nearly 300,000 people have fled North Korea, one of the most isolated and dangerous countries in the world. Learn more about this country and its refugee crisis.
- Official name: Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)
- Capital: Pyongyang
- Government: Centralized Communist state; one-man, one-party dictatorship of "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il and the Korean Workers Party
- Population: 22.7 million
- More than 1 million North Koreans perished in a devastating famine in the mid-1990s.
- 33 percent of the population is undernourished.
- 37 percent of children are stunted, 23 percent are underweight and 7 percent are wasted away.
- Up to 200,000 are unjustly imprisoned in Soviet style gulags
- Prisoners in these camps experience extreme abuse, torture, rape, forced abortions and even executions
- More than 400,000 have died in these political prison camps
- Up to 300,000 refugees are hiding in China
- Approximately 80 percent of North Korean refugees in China are women
- Of these women, 70 to 90 percent end up sexually trafficked, sold repeatedly or forced into marriages.
- These women can be bought for anywhere from a few hundred U.S, dollars up to $2,000.
Escaping North Korea is dangerous and life-threatening. Browse this photo gallery to learn more about the journey many refugees take.
Published on May 18, 2010
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