The Unification Ministry's Hanawon center wins high praise for helping North Korean escapees make the daunting leap from their Stalinist homeland to life in what has become Asia's third biggest economy and one of its most vibrant democracies.
"They (at Hanawon) are doing a marvelous job," said Douglas Shin, a pastor who works with defectors.
For those who do make it -- normally after a hazardous border crossing into China -- the center is their first home in the South and where they are taught basic skills to help them adapt.
Most, Lee said, were farmers or laborers who flee simply because there is not enough food at home.
[Excerpt of an article by Jonathan Thatcher , Reuters]