DICTATORSHIPS

N. Korean Defectors Join 21st Century

When a North Korean defector crosses the border into South Korea, he or she is subjected to a globalized trial by fire. Fast food, credit cards, mouthwash, movie theaters, a legitimate education: All are new to a North Korean who has escaped Kim Jong Il's twisted regime. About 4,000 North Koreans have settled in their neighbor to the south, The Washington Post reports. A policy is in place to assimilate the defectors, who are given citizenship and three months of intense classes that essentially are an introduction to existence in the 21st century. One of the dictatorship's most difficult tendencies to overcome is paranoia, a U.N. report explained. North Koreans "live in fear and are pressed to inform on each other. The state practices extensive surveillance of its inhabitants...Authorities have bred a culture of pervasive mistrust."