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Date : January 2, 2013
Tightening of Border Security Decreases Defections
   http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2013/01/02/94/0401000000AEN… [1245]

The 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 drop.

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.

The 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.

The 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.

A 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."

Source: Yonhap News

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