[NK News] Number of North Korean defectors entering South Korea doubles in second quarter

20 Jul 2023

On July 18, NK News reported that the number of North Korean escapees who entered South Korea in the second quarter of 2023 markedly increased compared to the previous quarter. South Korean unification ministry attributed the rise in number to the easing of movement restrictions in China. Concurring with the ministry's assessment, Juyeon Ok, a human rights analyst at NKDB, also indicated enhanced surveillance and control systems in China as another major factor that may have led North Koreans in China to leave for South Korea.

Juyeon Ok, a human rights analyst at the Seoul-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, told NK News that she considered the ministry’s assessment a “reasonable assumption,” citing recently arrived North Koreans who mentioned successfully entering South Korea during "a limited period of opportunity.”

Ok added that North Koreans who were residing in China likely experienced more monitoring and intensified surveillance locally, increasing the pressure on them to leave for South Korea. 

“The current trend among North Korean escapees entering South Korea, especially among women, is characterized by a significant number of individuals who have spent a long time in China and have sometimes even established families there,” Ok explained.

You can read the full article on NK News website by clicking HERE.