Yonhap News reports that 270 North Korean defectors made it to South Korea in the first quarter of 2003. For all of 2002 the number of North Korean defectors was over 1000 but the article does not provide an exact figure. To put that in perspective, South Korea received 583 North Korean defectors in 2001. Therefore the number of defectors reaching South Korea rose again in 2002. While Yonhap News provides a figure of 214 defectors reaching South Korea in 1Q 2002 at the second link I had previously cited another source which put that quarter's number at 162.
While the number of refugees making it to South Korea continues to rise the vast bulk of the refugees that make it out of North Korea do not make it any further than China. Many are either caught and sent back or they return on their own in order to bring supplies they acquired in China back to their families in North Korea.
The number of North Koreans who make it to South Korea is easily measurable. But in terms of we could learn about the conditions and beliefs of people inside of North Korea the more interesting figures would be about how many North Koreans are trying and succeeding to get to China. Numbers about that are much harder to come by.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 April 10 01:00 AM Korea|