latest figures for the number of defectors defecting to the South in
the past year have shown a rapid decrease in comparison to the
previous year, the Unification Ministry announced on Wednesday
morning. It is speculated that the tightening up of border security
following the elevation of Kim Jong Eun to power is to blame for the
Ministry’s figures show that 1,508 defectors reached South Korea in
2012. This is a little less than 60% of the previous year’s 2,706
defectors reaching South Korea.
number of defectors arriving in South Korea has remained constantly
over 2,000 since 2006. The past year represents the first drop below
2,000 since then.
past month was the peak of the number of defectors arriving in South
Korea. 215 people arrived in December which brings the total number
of defectors living in South Korea to 24,613.
government official told Yonhap News that, “The number of North
Korean defectors to the South is not likely to jump in the near
future given the (small) number of defectors now waiting in China or
other countries to come to South Korea."