When will the Arduous Journey end?: The experience of North Korean Temporal migrants in China and Australia

University of New South Wales
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Review of Korean Studies, 2017, 14 (1), pp. 1 - 32
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The paper seeks to explore North Korean refugees’ migratory trajectories and the lived experience of each stage of transient/temporal living in China and Australia. Emerging studies on onward migration challenge the view that sees migration as a linear process involving the departure of national origin and the permanent settlement of a destination country. Rather the research on onward migration understands “migratory journeys are multiple, iterative and fragmented, involving steps and stages,” (Della Puppa & King 2018: 14). This paper looks at how transient mobilities of North Korean refugees in the transnational migration journey construct migrant experiences in settled countries. By addressing key pull and push factors for North Korean defectors in each destination, coming to China and Australia and exploring various aspects of their living and working conditions and social networks, the paper gives insight into the unique experience of North Korean refugees as onward, often transient migrants, and addresses the problems that the refugees confront. It then proposes some practical programs and internationally appropriate policies that would facilitate the delivery of assistance to this community. This study is a valuable contribution to the emerging area of research on onward migration and temporary migration by offering an empirical case study of North Korean refugees.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: