[KS] North Koreans in Brazil?

Stanley Underdal stanleyju at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 24 06:09:52 EDT 2014

Another possible novel might be War Trash by Ha Jin.  This novel focused primarily on the Chinese prisoners on Koje-do and described the selection process for those who wanted to go back to China or to a third country.




--Stanley Underdal



From: Koreanstudies [mailto:koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com] On Behalf Of John Eperjesi
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:58 AM
To: Korean Studies Discussion List
Subject: Re: [KS] North Koreans in Brazil?


Thank you all, very helpful!


On Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 5:49 PM, Marion Eggert <marion.eggert at rub.de> wrote:

Dear Aidan,

The novel you have in mind must be The Square (Kwangjang) by Ch'oe Inhun. The protagonist, originally an inhabitant of the South who went north before the war and ended up as North Korean POW, is on a ship to India at the beginning of the novel, but he never arrives there, chosing death in the ocean instead. 


Am 24.07.2014 08:32, schrieb Afostercarter at aol.com:

Dear all,


Paul Yoon is not the first writer to make fiction of this particular

tragic twist in the Korean War tale: those POWs who chose to

emigrate rather than live in either half of their divided country.


20 years ago or more, a Korean novel explored the same terrain,

somewhat allegorically. There, the protagonist ended up in India.


This book was translated into English. I bought and read it, but I 

can't now find it; nor alas do I recall either the author or the title.

I'm sure Brother Anthony and many others can supply those.


Just call me

Amnesiac in Angleterre


Aidan Foster-Carter

Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University, UK




In a message dated 24/07/2014 03:14:10 GMT Daylight Time, ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr writes:

The fate of (North Korean or Chinese) prisoners of war (many in the camp in Geoje-do) was one of the main issues that kept the armistice negociations stalled for 2 years, with the particular question of what to do about those who did not wish to be repatriated _or_ integrated into South Korea . Finally the UN set up the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Korea, their freedom of choice was repected and they were given the option of going to live in a third nation. The term "neutral nations" was defined as those nations whose combat forces did not participate in the hostilities in Korea. The United Nations Command chose Switzerland and Sweden, while the Korean People's Army and Chinese People's Volunteers chose Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Korean prisoners of war wishing to live in a third country were shipped by the United Nations to India, Brazil, and Argentina in the year leading up to the 1954 Geneva Conference on Korea and Indochina.

A news movie of North Korean moving to Brazil can be seen at http://www.britishpathe.com/video/korean-ex-pows-move-to-brazil 

Brother Anthony
President, RASKB etc





In a message dated 24/07/2014 01:34:58 GMT Daylight Time, john.eperjesi at gmail.com writes:

In Korean American writer Paul Yoon's new Korean War novel "Snow Hunters," a North Korean soldier spends two years in  POW camp "near the southern coast" of South Korea, "near an airbase." 


After the war, rather than be repatriated, he is given the chance to move to Brazil, which he does.


Can anyone help with materials than can develop the historical context for the POW camp and/or North Korean migration to Brazil after the war?


Much thanks in advance,





Prof. Dr. Marion Eggert
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Sprache und Kultur Koreas
GB 1/46
D-44780 Bochum


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