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As exemplified by Kang, social media platforms affect how young North Korean defectors are resocialized and engage with the receiving country, South Korea. In the 2010s, over 1,000 North Korean defectors arrived in South Korea annually, mostly through China and other countries such as Thailand, and at the end of 2020, it was estimated that 33,718 defectors live in South Korea (Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea, 2020). While defectors are offered South Korean citizenship after a period of investigation, their resettlement in the south and their transition to the southern lifestyle are often challenging (Won, 2020). The poverty rate measured by the number of recipients of the Basic Livelihood Security benefits indicates that in any given year after their resettlement in the south, over 20 percent of North Korean defectors receive these benefits, which contrasts sharply with the South Korean average rate of three percent (Korea Hana Foundation, 2019; Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Republic of Korea, 2021; Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea, 2020). In addition to economic difficulties, defectors encounter sociocultural challenges, such as stereotyping, discrimination, and personal trauma, which may severely affect their post-migration lives and well-being (Choi, 2016; Jung, 2018; W.H. Oh, 2015; Won, 2020).
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