Thousands of North Koreans are said to be living in hiding in China, which is obliged to send them back under a bilateral treaty. Activists say China repatriates up to 400 defectors every week to North Korea where they can face harsh punishment.
"North Korean women, in particular, are in extreme peril in terms of being snared by human traffickers either to be sold into marriage to a Chinese person or to be pulled into the sex trade," said Tim Peters, founder and director of Helping Hands Korea, a Christian charity group supporting North Korean refugees.
Activists estimate more than 70 percent of North Korean women who try to defect become victims of human trafficking in China, while North Korean defectors say the figure is much higher, Peters said.
"Typhoon" director Kwak Kyung-taek, whose father fled the North during the Korean War, said he was trying to portray the "kind of hostility the North Koreans would harbor against South Korea" when they were sent back to their communist homeland.
So far "Typhoon" is only showing in Asia but the makers hope to distribute the film in the United States and Canada later this year.
[From Associated Press article by Bo-Mi Lim]