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BBC Doku: The risky business of sending money to North Korea

Summary:
Secret calls and code names: The risky business of sending money to N Korea North Korean defectors to the South have been relying on „brokers“ to send money home to their families. With no legal way to transfer funds to North Korea, these middlemen operate at huge personal risk. [embedded content] Secret calls using smuggled Chinese phones are made at remote locations. Code names are used. „It is like a spy movie and people are putting their lives on the line,“ says one of the brokers, Hwang Ji-sung. If they are caught delivering money in North Korea, they face 15 years in jail or worse, a political prison camp. On the other hand, the practice had been tolerated by authorities in South Korea until recently – but not anymore. BBC Korean talks to

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North Korean defectors to the South have been relying on „brokers“ to send money home to their families. With no legal way to transfer funds to North Korea, these middlemen operate at huge personal risk.

Secret calls using smuggled Chinese phones are made at remote locations. Code names are used. „It is like a spy movie and people are putting their lives on the line,“ says one of the brokers, Hwang Ji-sung.

If they are caught delivering money in North Korea, they face 15 years in jail or worse, a political prison camp. On the other hand, the practice had been tolerated by authorities in South Korea until recently – but not anymore.

BBC Korean talks to some of the brokers who believe they are helping North Korean defectors support their loved ones back home.

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