Arrivals of N. Korean defectors fall 9.8% in Q1

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : April 15, 2013, 09:23 | Updated : April 15, 2013, 09:23
Arrivals of North Korean defectors in South Korea plunged 9.8 percent in the first quarter of this year from the same period last year, the Ministry of Unification reported Thursday.

According to the report, 320 North Korean defectors resettled in South Korea during the January-March period, compared with 355 settlers in the corresponding period last year.

Arrivals totaled 90 in January, 116 in February and 114 in March.

Ministry officials said that arrivals of North Korean defectors in the South used to decrease in winter, yet the Q1 tally was smaller than the same period last year.

Last year, 1,509 North Korean defectors arrived in the South, a sharp decrease from 2,706 arrivals in the previous year.

The officials attributed the decrease to tighter security in North Korean areas bordering China after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

The cumulative number of North Korean defectors who resettled in the South totals 24,934, the ministry said.

By Ayaka Erin Tobari
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