February 26, 2024

Number of North Korean defectors who reached South tripled to 196 last year

Seoul says 'elite' defectors like diplomats made up significant part of total in 2023 as DPRK began to reopen

A total of 196 North Korean escapees reached South Korea in 2023, more than three times the previous year but still far below annual pre-pandemic numbers.

In a press release on Thursday, Seoul’s Ministry of Unification said there was a considerable number of “elite” defectors among those who resettled in the South, including “diplomats, overseas residents and international students.”

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