North Korea is one of the most isolated countries, it officially limits the communication between its people and the outside world. Foreign media do not work there without the permission of the authorities, and tourists can not communicate freely with the citizens of North Korea. Human rights violations are so common in North Korea that every citizen of her has experienced violence at least once in life. And, of course, people do not have the right to travel outside the country. However, some tried to escape and they succeeded.
1. The demilitarized zone
This is the region that separates North Korea from the South. It occupies about 240 km and is powerfully fortified on both sides. The irony, however, is that North Korean soldiers who must guard their part of the border run safely, and South Korea usually grants citizenship to North Korean defectors.
2. The Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the sea border between North and South Korea, and it is also an easy and short route. Each country claims a part of the sea as its territory. The only danger when trying to escape is that the sea is protected by naval forces from both countries. Nevertheless, a number of desperate swimmers swam to South Korea.
3. The Sea of Japan
This is the common maritime boundary between North Korea and Japan and a good route for defectors. The main difficulty: it requires a boat, since the path is not close. In history there were also such lucky ones, because Japan does not deport people from North Korea and gives them the opportunity to safely go further.
4. The border of North Korea and China
Several defectors used the common border of the country with China. To this end, the North Korean should cooperate with the Chinese or someone who is familiar with the route, so as not to catch sight of the border guards. However, China is very hostile to North Korean migrants and often deports them to their homeland, where they face execution or imprisonment.
5. Olympic team
Like every country, North Korea has its own Olympic team. Being in its composition is a win-win situation for athletes. The authorities of North Korea reward those who win medals, but punish athletes and coaches who return with nothing. This is enough for the athletes to want to escape. Despite the fact that during the international competitions all of them are under close supervision, the escape is quite real.
6. The soccer team
In North Korea there was a football team that claimed the World Cup in 2010. However, she did not win any games in the group stage and dropped out of the tournament. The coach of the team was fired and sent for forced construction work. The only plus was that during international competitions, players had a chance to escape.
7. Work abroad
North Korea sends its citizens to work in countries such as China and Russia, for example, within the framework of the missile program. It is said that North Korea is also deploying its forced labor mission in about 45 countries, including the European Union, in preparation for the 2018 World Cup. Working conditions are so bad that North Korean workers often die. However, they are not closely watched, and they can escape.
8. The North Korean diplomatic corps
North Korea tries to imitate other countries and maintains its diplomats, however, very little funding is allocated to embassy staff. Although life in the North Korean diplomatic corps is severe, it provides an excellent opportunity to escape from the homeland. For example, in 2016 a North Korean diplomat and his family fled to South Korea from the UK. And in 1997, the North Korean ambassador from Egypt moved to the United States.
9. Air Koryo
The state-owned airline Air Koryo is the only one-star airline in the world. Travelers at Air Koryo complained about the bad work of flight attendants, propaganda newspapers and inedible food. In addition, the airline flies on limited routes. For example, Air Koryo is forbidden to fly over the EU airspace although the airline only flies to countries that actively support the regime, plus that armed guards hardly control flight attendants or pilots.
10. Student Exchange Program
It allows students from North Korea to study abroad and vice versa. Every year, several students from China study in North Korea. Although the country is not a popular destination for Chinese students, some adventurers still take risks. North Korean students study abroad, but must return to their homeland. On the other hand, such a program is a chance to escape.