The Tongil Moms Association (“tongil” is the Korean word for “unification”), a human rights group formed by women fleeing North Korea, held a meeting at the Foreign Press Center in South Korea on November 11.

At the meeting, “North Korean women who were forcibly separated from their children,” was the main topic that many North Korean women spoke on. They told stories of the many tragedies and human rights problems suffered by North Korean women who fled to China. 

Thousands of women have escaped North Korea in many ways, such as crossing the border to China or, worse, being trafficked to China by traffickers. Then they are forced into marriage and have children with Chinese men.

However, their life is full of difficulties as they are constantly under surveillance and under the threat of arrest by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They are also forced to return to North Korea under an extradition agreement with North Korea. 

According to The New Humanitarian, the move of the CCP has caused profound harm and has left countless mothers and children dispersed.

Some North Korean mothers have been forced to leave their children and Chinese husbands behind to flee to Southeast Asian countries and, eventually, South Korea.

However, their escape from China was not easy.

According to Da Ji Yuan, the human rights group, United Mothers Association, has secretly interviewed women who have fled North Korea and are stuck in China. In addition, the CCP conducted weekly surveys of North Korean women who had left the country during the pandemic to prevent them from moving to South Korea. They were even located via WeChat, affecting their lives and mental health.

Kim Jung-ah, a representative of the Tongil Moms Association, also spoke about why the CCP prevented these women from going to South Korea. She pointed out that the CCP is worried about human rights in North Korea coming under the spotlight, leading to human rights issues in China also coming under notice.

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