Restricted Access Thesis

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This study was formulated while learning about North Korean defectors escaping from North Korea. I wanted to discover both the challenges in leaving North Korea as well as the difficulties in adjustment to life in South Korea. Key influences in helping frame this study included international student friends, former students, organizations such as NKDB and Crisis Group, and authors such as Lankov and Yoon. The research method was qualitative (cf. Johnstone) my interactions with North Korean defectors were documented and analyzed. The study concluded that 1) there are basic adjustments that most defectors will face 2) North and South Koreans need to become more educated about each other 3) there need to be more life skills programs available for defectors and 4) the desire for North Koreans to go back shows a desire for familiarity and belonging.