March 01, 2021

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North Korean defectors arriving in the South drop by 78% in 2020 — a record low

Yearly new arrivals dropped by more than 800 people amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stricter border measures

The number of new North Korean defectors arriving in South Korea dropped to a record low in 2020, according to new numbers released by Seoul’s Ministry of Unification on Wednesday.

In total, 229 North Koreans settled in the South last year, a 78% decrease from the 1,047 defectors who settled in the country in 2019. South Korea has been publishing official data on new defector arrivals for roughly two decades.