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48 N. Koreans defected to South Korea in this year's 3rd quarter

All News 17:58 October 21, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- A total of 48 North Korean defectors arrived in South Korea during the third quarter of this year, the unification ministry said Wednesday.

The figure, including 23 males and 25 females, is a significant drop from the 226 North Koreans that defected in the same period last year.

The sharp decline appears to reflect challenges in moving across borders due to the COVID-19. North Korea has maintained tight border controls since early this year as part of antivirus efforts.

A total of 135 arrived here in the first three months of this year and the number tumbled to 12 in the second quarter, the ministry said.

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