Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) N. Korean defectors arriving in S. Korea plunge amid coronavirus fears

All News 15:47 April 03, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, throughout with details, photo)

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- The number of North Korean defectors who entered South Korea dropped sharply on-year during the first quarter, data showed Friday, amid Pyongyang's tightened border control over global coronavirus fears.

According to the data provided by the unification ministry, a total of 135 North Korean defectors arrived in South Korea during the January-March period, compared with 229 arrivals during the same period of last year.

This year's total broke down into 39 males and 96 females.

The ministry did not provide reasons for the sharp decline, but observers cited the North's tightened anti-coronavirus border control as a reason to hamper North Koreans fleeing the country.

The decline also appears to be in line with the overall downturn in the number of North Korean defectors resettling in the South in recent years.

In 2019, a total of 1,047 North Korean defectors came to South Korea, the lowest annual number in 18 years.

The annual number of North Korean defectors peaked in 2009 with 2,914. The figure has averaged around 1,000-1,500 since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took power in late 2011.

(LEAD) N. Korean defectors arriving in S. Korea plunge amid coronavirus fears - 1

kokobj@yna.co.kr
(END)

Keywords
HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!