This paper analyzes two questions: why there are more North Korean women defectors than men in China; and what gender-specific human security issues need to be raised from a feminist perspective. Argued in the paper are: First, The feminization of North Korean migration pattern is pushed by North Korea’s own internal situations (economic hardship, gender inequality in employment and women’s traditional gender roles as nurturer) and pulled by external factors (China’s growing sex / entertainment industry and the shortage of brides). Second, North Korean women defectors or forced repatriates experience gender-specific problems such as sex-trafficking, abusive marriage, or other types of sexual exploitation. And third, policies or programs on North Korean migrants need to pay specific attention to protecting women’s human security. The “Three P strategy” of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime suggests various tools to prevent and combat human trafficking and to protect victims. Both the Chinese and South Korean governments need to adopt these Three Ps strategies to protect North Korean women defectors. In adopting this strategy, China needs to approach North Korean women defectors’ problems as issues of sexual violence against women and gender discrimination, not as illegal economic migration issues. South Korean government needs to take positive, interventionist policies by separating women defectors’ gender-specific human security issues from the larger, North Korean defectors’ human rights issues.
Ⅱ. Characteristics of North Korean Migration into China: Migration Patterns
Ⅲ. Feminization of North Korean Migration: Causes and Patterns
Ⅳ. Sexual Exploitations and Human Security Concerns
Ⅴ. Summary and Policy Suggestions