October 31, 2020

North Korean defectors arriving in the South surge after months of record lows

Thirty-nine escapees entered South Korea in August, compared to just six in July

For more than 240 days now, North Korea has kept its borders closed in a COVID-19-related lockdown. That has seriously driven down the number of new defectors entering the South.

But now, government data from Seoul shows a sudden surge in new defectors: After a stretch of record-low numbers totaling less than 10 people per month, 39 North Koreans abruptly arrived in South Korea in Aug. 2020, ruling Democratic Party lawmaker Jeon Hae-cheol’s office confirmed to NK News on Monday.