Book review: “North Korean Defectors in a New and Competitive Society”

The number of defectors from North Korea increased significantly in the past decade. In South Korea as of 2017 about 29,000 North Korean refugees are said to have settled down, and many more are thought to be hiding in the border region between China and North Korea. Their stories are most valuable for understanding the totalitarian regime in the North and publicizing unthinkable human rights abuses in the infamous gulags in which about 200,000-300,000 prisoners are believed to be forced to work under inhumane conditions. The book is only dedicated to a minor extent to the stories of these defectors. The publication is much more focused on what is happening when defectors settle in South Korea or other countries.