North Korea’s Refugees: A Window into North Korea

From the Peterson Institute event last week:

As North Korea once again makes headlines with its provocations, the Institute hosted an event April 29, 2009, to present new research by Senior Fellow Marcus Noland based on a recently completed survey of North Korean refugees in South Korea, a companion survey to one done earlier in China by Noland and collaborators. The new survey provides extraordinary insight into the changing pathways to power, wealth, and status within North Korea, as well as the rise of inequality, corruption, and disaffection in the decade since the famine of the 1990s, along with the refugees’ assessments of the regime, its motivations, and its capabilities.

Dr. Noland’s findings can be downloaded in PDF here.

Noland and Haggard conducted a similar survey in China last year.  You can download it here.


2 Responses to “North Korea’s Refugees: A Window into North Korea”

  1. Michael Madden says:


  2. EmperorAtahualpa says:

    I just read through Noland’s power point presentation and was particularly surprised by the graph showing that 56.7% of refugees stated that the poor condition of the economy triggered them to flee the country!

    Only about 25% mentioned political oppression and just 1% mentioned religious oppression. Those numbers are of course still high, but more than half of the refugees seem not to be bothered too much about how their country is run politically….that kind of puts a different perspective on things, doesn’t it?

    But of course, it might just as well be that the political dissidents might not be able to flee because they are in prison or perhaps even killed.