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Christian North Korea defector "regrets leaving"

Fri 22 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A defector from North Korea who converted to Christianity and published her story has now appeared on state TV saying that she regretted ever leaving the country. 

Defector, Son Ok-Sun, appears to tear up her own story on camera as she cried, and a voiceover said that the book 'Longing for Light' was "disgraceful".

The 50-year-old appears to say that she regretted leaving for China.

According to The Telegraph, Son Ok-Sun had not lived in North Korea for 15 years.

Son Ok-Sun takes part in the 20 minute video in which she said that North Korea has changed drastically for the better and offers a number of benefits like free healthcare.

The defector also takes a tour of her former home and appears to then visit an amusement park.



Speaking to The Telegraph, Professor Hazel Smith, director of Korean studies at the University of Central Lancashire, said that many escaping North Koreans struggle to adapt to new environments outside of the strict regime.

She said: "In these cases, North Koreans don't tend to be treated very well.

"Their accent can be picked out and they have had a different sort of education so South Koreans can spot them easily and make fun of them by calling them peasants.

"In some cases, they are basically treated like second class citizens, so that could be one reason for deciding to go back."

Son Ok-Sun's book describes her struggle in North Korea from surviving a famine and converting to Christianity.

South Korean media has suggested that Son Ok-Sun is around roughly 15 defectors who have returned to North Korea since 2011.

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