Despite the thaw in relations between north and south Korea, people are still risking their lives to flee the regime.
Most escape via China but they face huge risks where they can be sent back if caught.
Women are also trafficked from North Korea to China where they think they will get a job and earn some money but find themselves trapped for years on end.
BBC Korean Service Editor Su-Min Hwang has exclusive access to one rescue mission run by a South Korean pastor.
Trafficked into the sex industry after defecting from North Korea, two young women spent years in captivity before finally getting the chance to escape.
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