Young-gum Kim was starving in her home country of North Korea. She lost two children to the famine of the 1990s, and her husband was killed in a mining accident. Eventually, she fled to China in search of safety and refuge. However, China offers little safety to North Koreans, who are seen as criminals, not refugees. Young-gum Kim was sold by human traffickers and forced to work the fields for 10 years before she found a way out.
We also talk to filmmaker Ann Shin, who followed several North Korean women sold to Chinese men by human traffickers. Ann Shin’s film, The Defector, documents their escape.