The number of North Korean defectors coming to South Korea topped the 21,000 mark in April in the five months since November last year, government officials said Saturday.
According to the Unification Ministry, the number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea came to 21,165 as of April 17.
The number of North Korean defectors in South Korea breached the 20,000 mark for the first time in November last year.
The number has been on the rise since 2005, aside from a decrease in 2010.
Last year, 2,423 North Koreans defectors came to South Korea, slightly down from 2,927 in 2009. (Yonhap News)