A group of 13 North Koreans recently arrived in Southeast Asia, after a grueling two-month journey which spanned 6,000 kilometers (more than 3700 miles), in a quest for asylum in South Korea.
Among the group that reached the Southeast Asian destination were a two-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, the rest ranging in age between their teens and 50s.
They were met by officials from the South Korean human rights group Now Action Unity Human rights (NAUH), who had been awaiting them.
Ji Seong-ho, founder of NAUH, who himself escaped North Korea in 2006, led the effort to rescue the 13. Ji said the latest rescue was both nerve-racking and moving.
He told RFA that many people that attempt to leave North Korea are arrested in China, as Beijing intensifies crackdowns on those who try to flee. He noted that the number of North Koreans fleeing to Southeast Asia has declined in recent years, but that many still make the journey hoping to escape to freedom.
[Radio Free Asia]