September 23, 2023

23 North Korean defectors reach South Korea in third quarter: Seoul

Group defection of overseas workers appears to drive slight uptick, though numbers still far below pre-pandemic levels

Only 23 North Korean defectors arrived in the South from July to September, according to the unification ministry, the most in any quarter this year but still far below pre-pandemic levels.

The new defectors bring the total number of arrivals to 42 for the year, as the DPRK’s strict COVID-19 border controls and restrictions in transit countries like China make it more difficult for defectors to reach South Korea.