North Korean refugees who fled to China recently faced forced marriage and deportation, according to reports regarding the imprisonment of two American journalists who worked on a subject of 'the plight of North Korean women who flee to China'.
About 80% of those refugees are women and most of them leave North Korea not because of the oppressive regime, but because of hunger and poverty, according to reports from Washington post.
Two North Korean women, Bang Mi Sun and Kim Young Ae traveled recently to Washington, where they told their stories to members of Congress and gave interviews to the media.
Bang Mi Sun, a former actress, after crossing into China in 2002, she was separated from her two children and sold into marriage to three men. She managed to get away from all three. When she ran for the third time, Chinese police arrested her and sent her back to North Korea, where she was permanently disabled by a beating from police in a labor camp.
I had to live the life of an animal, said Bang, who fled the North for a second time in 2004 and found her way to South Korea.
If I had a chance to meet with President Obama, I would first like to tell him how North Korean women are being sold like livestock in China and, second, to know that North Korean labor camps are hell on earth, she said.
Kim Young Ae, who fled North Korea in 1997 to look for food and for a job as a nanny and was sold to China.
Chinese men in three major provinces closest to North Korea are desperate for women, and they are willing to pay for them, Lee said.
Many of these men are poor, and they fall into debt to buy a wife, she added. North Korean women usually end up working for years to help pay off the debt.
China recently refuses to recognize them as refugees, sending many back to face interrogation, hard labor and sometimes torture. North Korea regards them as criminals for leaving.