March 21, 2023

South Korea repatriated nearly 200 North Koreans but only ‘expelled’ two: Seoul

2019 handover of DPRK fishermen is only repatriation of those who sought to defect, unification ministry data shows

South Korea has repatriated nearly 200 North Koreans who crossed the inter-Korean sea border since 2010, unification ministry data obtained by NK News showed Friday, while the controversial forced repatriation of two fishermen is the only case where North Koreans were “expelled” despite their stated intention to defect.

The data more fully reveals the extent of repatriations to the DPRK amid a growing scandal over the Moon Jae-in administration’s decision to hand over the fishermen in Nov. 2019, a move critics say violated South Korean law and human rights principles.