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[Graphic News] Number of NK defectors plunges in 2020 amid border closure

The number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea dropped sharply last year apparently due to the North’s border closure to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus, government data showed.

According to the data provided by the Unification Ministry, a total of 229 North Koreans settled down in South Korea last year.

The number was far fewer than the 1,047 tallied a year earlier and 1,137 registered in 2018.

During the first quarter, 135 North Koreans defected to the South. The figures in the second, third and fourth quarters dropped to 12, 48 and 34, respectively. (Yonhap)