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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji was a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
The number of North Koreans defecting to the South fell by 20.8 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, South Korea's Ministry of Unification (MOU) reported on Wednesday.
Preliminary statistics released by the MOU showed that 593 North Koreans fled to South Korea between January and the end of June, compared to 749 in the same period last year.