Friday 17 January 2020
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business-standard - 1 month ago

Half-North Korean, half-Chinese kids struggle in South Korea

Song Hong Ryon looks like any other young woman in South Korea. But three years after her arrival from China, the half-North Korean, half-Chinese 19-year-old has made only two South Korean-born friends and says she s often been hurt by little things, like when people ask if she s from China because of her accent. I ve agonised about it a lot by myself, she said. Song s mother fled North Korea in the late 1990s in search of food and work in China, like tens of thousands of other North Korean women did to avoid a famine at home. Many women ended up being sold to poor Chinese farmers as brides, before fleeing again and moving to South Korea, which considers the North part of its territory and therefore embraces North Korean refugees. Many of the children of these marriages, if they re able to reunite with their mothers in the South, are alienated and frustrated as they struggle to navigate a strange culture, cut off from friends and many of their relatives. To tell their little-known ..


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