Young-gum Kim was starving in her home country of North Korea. She lost two children to the famine of the 1990s, and her husband was killed in a mining accident. Eventually, she fled to China in search of safety and refuge.
However, China offers little safety to North Koreans, who are seen as criminals, not refugees. Young-gum Kim was sold by human traffickers and forced to work the fields for ten years before she found a way out. We also talk to filmmaker Ann Shin, who followed several North Korean women sold to Chinese men by human traffickers. Ann Shin’s film, The Defector, documents their escape. Also in this show, Dick speaks with photojournalist Tomas Van Houtryve, who was granted entry to North Korea. In order to understand the puzzle of North Korea, he decided to start with the edges – where North Korea borders South Korea and China.