12 Top Biographies of North Korean Defectors

north korean defector

When the Korean War ended (1950-1953), the Korean peninsula was divided in two parts, the south under the influence of U.S. embraced capitalism and democracy while the northern part of Korea under the influence of the Communist China and the extinct Soviet Union (URSS) embraced a sort of stalinism.

Starting the North Korean famine in the 1990s, more North Koreans started to defect. According to available statistics, since 1953, between 100,000-300,000 North Koreans have defected. Most of them fled to Russia and China. In South Korea there are approximately 27,000 North Koreans. Another peak on defections started in 2008 with Kim Jong Un's regime.

The majority of the defectors are women and the principal reason cited is economic. While in case of men, the most important reason for defecting is political, ideological or surveillance pressure.

In United States, President George W. Bush signed the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004, and since 2006 it has accepted refugees. By 2014, The U.S. has approximately 170 North Korean refugees who have defected from their country, and only 25 have received political asylum.

Since few years ago, there have been several biographical books of North Korean defectors that have topped the list of best sellers reflecting a growing interest in this issue. Here is a list of the best biographies and memoirs of North Korean defectors recounting their life stories back in North Korea and how they manage to escape.