North Korea's National Defense Commission has reportedly forbidden all women aged 10 to 60 from traveling on trains and roads to the NK/China border.
Border police were ordered to be on the look out for women, as an alarming number of women are fleeing the Communist nation at a rate of over 400 defectors into South Korea per month, four out of five of them being women.
North Korea is a nation that considers it a crime for people to access foreign publications, media and the like. So for decades, the people have been isolated from the rest of the world, except for the rare underground radio stations.
However, as the flow of information seeping into the nation increases, women are discovering a whole new world beyond their own. Through TV dramas and movies smuggled into the hermit nation, the women become exposed to a different life -they are surprised, empowered, and challenged by the respect women seem to have in the free world.
But that is just one of many factors why women, mostly middle-aged women whose children have already grown, are fleeing. Disappointment to the point of despair with the government compel these women to risk their lives to cross the border, propelled by the sheer will to survive.
Unfortunately, despite successfully crossing the NK/China border to the other side, women greet another harsh world -traffickers ready to sell them off as prostitutes, brides for old farmers, or slaves.
And the lucky women defectors who eventually do find their way to South Korea set the path for more family members to follow, but not without a cost. They must pay tremendous fees to bribe the brokers to smoothly bring them over.
This increasing activity has caught the regime's attention, resulting in the crackdown.