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Archive - Escape from North Korea
Chien-Chi Chang
The most recent exodus of North Korean defectors into China began in the late 1990s after a severe famine that killed at least one million of its 23 million people. Most follow an escape route known as Asia's Underground Railroad, eventually covering more than 10,000 km if they successfully reach Seoul. Their first step is to cross the border at the Tumen River. They then remain in hiding, waiting to escape from China. The 2,000 perilous miles across China are just the beginning. Then comes the challenge of making a new life.

Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. On a frigid December day, workers gather at a dilapidated...
NYC93672
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

Barbed wire marks the high-security zone where the frontiers...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. With Tumen River in between, Hoeryong city in North...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. Friendship Bridge. The Tumen remains a tourist attraction...
NYC93680
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

NORTH KOREA. 2007. Cross-shaped posts carrying telephone wires...
NYC90609
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Yanji. 2007. In the border city of Yanji, a missionary...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. The Tumen remains a tourist attraction with a riverfront...
NYC93677
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

LAOS. 2007. Too exhausted to celebrate their exit from China,...
NYC90614
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. The Tumen remains a tourist attraction with a riverfront...
NYC93678
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Yanji. 2007. Yanji Church, the biggest one in Yanji, is...
NYC93663
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Yanji. 2007. In the border city of Yanji, a missionary...
NYC90610
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Yanji. 2007. Yanji Church, the biggest one in Yanji, is...
NYC93682
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. This North Korea defector stole across the frozen...
NYC93662
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Yanji. 2007. This North Korea defector stole across the...
NYC90607
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. Ms. Lee, 44, a North Korean, came to Yanji two and...
NYC93681
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. Identifying herself only as "Mrs. Lee," a defector...
NYC93683
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

Identifying herself only as "Mrs. Lee," a defector in Yanji was...
NYC90611
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

CHINA. 2008. Under all-seeing eyes on a billboard in a Beijing...
NYC93711
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

CHINA. Beijing. 2008. Passengers at Beijing West Railway Station....
NYC93706
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

CHINA. 2008. Under all-seeing eyes on a billboard in a Beijing...
NYC93705
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

CHINA. Beijing. 2008. Under all-seeing eyes on a billboard in...
NYC93709
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

CHINA. Beijing. 2008. Under all-seeing eyes on a billboard in...
NYC93710
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

CHINA. Beijing. 2008. Under all-seeing eyes on a billboard in...
NYC90619
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. Lacking legal documents, This North Korean defector...
NYC90612
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Simao. 2007. North Korean refugees, stay in a safe house...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. Simao. 2007. North Korean refugees, stay in a safe house...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. North Korean Defectors braced themselves against...
NYC90613
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

LAOS. 2007. After 14-hour of ride through the bumpy mountain...
NYC93686
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

THAILAND. 2007. After an anxious crossing (of the Mekong River),...
NYC90615
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

THAILAND. 2007. Early morning fog shrouds Mekong on the Laos...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

THAILAND. 2007. Early morning fishermen on the Mekong, south...
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

LAOS. 2007. Darkness settles over the Mekong River, providing...
NYC93692
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

THAILAND. 2008. Darkness settles over the Mekong River, providing...
NYC90617
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

THAILAND. 2007. Mekong River south of Vientiane on Lao side and...
NYC93703
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

THAILAND. 2007. Giving thanks, a North Korean refugee waiting...
NYC93693
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

CHINA. 2007. With Tumen River in between, Hoeryong city in North...
NYC93675
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Chien-Chi Chang 2007

Giving thanks, North Korean refugees waiting for papers that...
NYC90616
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

THAILAND. 2008. A swimming pool near Mekong in Nong Khai.
NYC93697
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

THAILAND. 2008. A neighborhood next to Thai Immigration Detention...
NYC93694
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

THAILAND. Bangkok. 2008. A busload of illegal workers from Cambodia...
NYC90618
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

SOUTH KOREA. 2008.
NYC93718
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

The gun is fake, but the message of outrage is real. Impersonating...
NYC90621
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

SOUTH KOREA. Seoul. 2008.
NYC93725
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

SOUTH KOREA. Seoul. 2008.
NYC93724
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

SOUTH KOREA. Seoul. 2008.
NYC93727
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

Still fearful of revealing his name or face, a defector takes...
NYC90622
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

SOUTH KOREA. 2008. Days after reaching South Korea, A North Koran...
NYC90623
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Chien-Chi Chang 2008

SOUTH KOREA. 2008. Pastor Chun Ki-won of Durihana church presides...
NYC93716
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