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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

North Korean Defections to South Rose 12% in First Half of 2019

SEOUL – A total of 546 North Koreans defected to South Korea in the first half of 2019, a 12 percent rise from the figure recorded in the same months a year earlier, the South Korean government reported on Tuesday.

The number of North Koreans that defected to the South during the period January-June 2018 was 487, according to figures published by Seoul’s Unification Ministry.

The number of people fleeing the North reached an annual high of 2,914 in 2009, while the average number is between 1,000-1,500 since current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un came to power in late 2011.

More than 32,000 North Korean defectors currently live in South Korea and Seoul has announced plans to expand state subsidies to help the refugees settle in the country.

 

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