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Nicolas Levi

Researcher & consultant on Korean issues, lecturer, author of books & publications dedicated to the Korean Peninsula for private/state organizations. More information available at nicolaslevi.wordpress.com


 

ARTICLES:

Adaptation in South Korean Society of North Korean Elite Defectors

Issue: 24 (The twenty fourth issue)
This paper aims to explain the adaptation of North Korean elite defectors
who fled from North Korea. Data used for the purpose of this article came
from surveys of North Korean defectors conducted in the late 2000’s.
Findings of the realized research indicate that the majority of senior
defectors are experiencing less psychological and material issues when
adjusting to society than regular North Korean defectors. The paper will
proceed in three steps: explaining the notion of defectors, outlining their
background, and focusing on their adaptation in South. Although defectors
as a whole has emerged as of the most research group as a minority in South
Korea, the so-called senior defectors have hardly been spotlighted. Basically
North Korean senior defectors are supposed to strengthen the anti-Kim
movement and legitimize the power of the South Korean government and
the image of South Korea abroad. What has to be enlightened upon is the
fact that North Korean senior defectors partially disagree with the
integration policy of South Korean authorities. A major research question
emerges: How are the experience of elite defectors localized in South
Korea? How do their specific identities impact their opinion within the
South Korean society? The aim of the article is also to categorize senior
defectors and to provide in a single document a list of senior North Korea
defectors based abroad. This kind of information is only available for
Korean speaking readers. I wanted to make it accessible to the Englishspeaking
community.


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