July 02, 2020 11:17
A record-low number of North Korean defectors entered South Korea in the second quarter of this year as the worldwide lockdown thwarted escape plans.
The Unification Ministry said Wednesday that seven North Koreans defected to South Korea in April, two in May and three in June, bringing the quarterly tally to 12. That was the lowest number since statistics started in 2003.
Borders are sealed along the key escape routes connecting North Korea, China, Southeast Asia and South Korea due to the coronavirus epidemic.
That even these 12 made it seems a small miracle.
In the first quarter, 135 North Koreans still managed to make their way here.
According to a report Unification Ministry submitted to lawmakers recently, the government expects around 350 North Koreans to reach South Korea this year, which is just one-third of last year's numbers.
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