The wives of North Korea

The dissolution of the Japanese empire in 1948 left thousands of ethnic Koreans in mainland Japan. Treated as a sub human underclass many looked for better opportunities abroad and between the 1960s and 1980s tens of thousands migrated across the Sea of Japan to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea. The DPRK authorities mobilised women to persuade their husbands (many of them ethnic Japanese) to move to the socialist state. This is about what life was like when they got there. Told by those who escaped and those who stayed behind in Japan. 

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