REFUGEES: The Forsaken People

Soviet officials describe it as a summertime wonderland of "heavenly fishing and coolness." To many of its 600,000 inhabitants, the island of Sakhalin, off the coast of Siberia, is better known for its frozen winters, when the temperature frequently drops to — 22° F. For almost 7,000 Koreans, Sakhalin is something even worse: it is a kind of prison.

Perhaps the last refugees of World War II, the Koreans have been trying for 30 years to leave Sakhalin. "If I can't get back home soon," says one of them despairingly, "I will commit suicide."

Japan controlled the southern half of Sakhalin...

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