September 27, 2023

Just 12 North Korean defectors reached the South from July to September

COVID restrictions have made it nearly impossible to escape and reach the ROK, cutting off a key source of information

The number of North Korean defectors reaching South Korea stayed near record lows in the third quarter this year, according to data from Seoul’s unification ministry, with only 12 defectors arriving from July to September.

The figure is higher than the two defectors that the unification ministry originally said arrived in the second quarter, the fewest ever. Yet the total remains far below pre-pandemic levels of more than 1,000 refugee arrivals per year.