SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- Over 26 percent of North Korean defectors living in South Korea sent remittances back to the communist country this year, a survey showed Thursday.
According to the poll conducted by the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) and NK Social Research (NKSR), a survey agency specializing in North Korean defectors, 26.6 percent of the defectors in the South sent remittances to the North this year.
The respondents sent an average of 1.51 million won (US$1,390) per transaction and made an average of 1.8 transactions, the survey showed.
The total amount of remittances sent by the defectors this year stood at 299.78 million won, down from 314 million won the previous year.
Among those polled, 38.6 percent of the defectors said they continue to contact their families in North Korea to confirm the receipt of the remittances, to check on their families or for business purposes.
Phone calls were the primary means of communication, accounting for 91.6 percent of the total cases.
The survey also found that 14.8 percent of the defectors have thought about returning to the North for several reasons, including homesickness and challenges in adapting to the South Korean society.
The survey was conducted on 414 North Korean defectors from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15.
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