In January, President Obama signed the North Korean Child Welfare Act of 2012, which instructs the U.S. State Department to “advocate for the best interests of these children” — including helping to reunite families and facilitate adoptions.
The law is aimed primarily at those orphans hiding in China and other countries. Those who make it to South Korea are provided an education, a path to citizenship and even a chance at adoption.
Many of the children are orphans; their parents victims of starvation or the gulag.
These homeless, abandoned North Korean orphans were both conspicuous and invisible in a community used to such sights. They are living on the streets, nearly freezing to death in the winters. With a chronic glower of hunger, they trolled the streets in gangs like rats. They scavenged, begged, plucking grass for food and pitted gang wars over tossed chicken bones. Whatever scraps they collected, they boiled into watery porridge.
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