On the Road Again: The Global Recession Scatters Workers

Thomas Lee / Atlaspress

Chinese workers await trains for home at a station in Guangzhou, China

During China's boom years, the lure of Beijing was irresistible for tens of thousands of South Koreans. With trade and investment between China and South Korea soaring, businessmen flocked to the Chinese capital seeking their fortunes; students, eager to learn Chinese, flooded into local universities. They collected in areas like Wangjing, an upscale neighborhood in the city's northeast, where some 80,000 Koreans settled.

Now, with the global economy mired in recession, they're leaving. Business opportunities have dried up as China's growth slows, while the plunging value of Korea's currency, the won, has...

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