July 23, 2013 10:44
The number of North Korean defectors seeking refuge in South Korea rose slightly in the first half of this year.
Seoul's Unification Ministry said 717 came to the South in the first six months of the year, up from 710 in the same period last year. It marks the first upturn since 2009.
A ministry official said the number of defectors tends to slow during the winter and rise again when the weather warms up. Most of the defectors come to South Korea via China, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
Government data shows that there are more than 25,000 North Korean defectors currently residing in the South.
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