Repatriation: Resettling in North Korea

Breaking 60 years of silence

Repatriation of Korean residents in Japan to North Korea began in 1959, and many left with fanfare to make the "return" to "paradise on Earth." But recent disclosure of confidential documents around the world is shedding light on what went on behind the scenes: an intense diplomatic warfare involving the North Korean and Japanese governments as well as the US, Soviet Union, and South Korea. Returnees who have since fled North Korea are also starting to break their silence. Theirs is a tale of excruciating hardship, amplified by the international political climate of the times. With new testimonies and top-secret documents, we approach the reality of the repatriation program six decades later.