February 21, 2024

North Korean defector numbers on pace to hit record low in 2022: Data

Seoul says COVID border controls make it difficult to escape DPRK, with just eight reaching ROK in second quarter

Just eight North Korean defectors arrived in South Korea in the second quarter of 2022, as tight COVID-19 border controls in the DPRK and other countries continue to make escaping and reaching the South nearly impossible.

Of the eight escapees, seven are male and one female, according to data released Tuesday by South Korea’s Ministry of Unification. The latest figure brings the total number of defectors in 2022 to just 19, putting this year on track for the fewest defectors since 1998 after a record low of 63 last year.