EMERGING ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY ASIA
A Special Seminar Series
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ABSTRACT: Most North Korean refugees and defectors live in South Korea, but in the past decade a growing number have moved beyond the Korean peninsula to create exile communities in North America, Europe, and other locations around the world. These movements have contributed to the emergence of a new and more globally distributed North Korean diaspora. What factors have shaped the emergence of this diaspora, and what effect is it likely to have? I find that contestation over conceptions of citizenship, at both the level of the individual and the level of government policy, have combined to shape the migration and resettlement of North Korean defectors and refugees over time and across geographic space. I then draw on a comparison with other authoritarian diasporas and extra-territorial opposition movements to show how changing North Korean resettlement patterns are likely to have significant geopolitical implications--not just for the individuals and families that migrate out of North Korea, but for American and international security and human rights policies toward North Korea.