Number of N. Korean defectors in South tops 30,000
The ministry said seven North Korean people arrived in South Korea via a third country Friday, raising the total of North Koreans defecting to the South to 30,005.
The cumulative number of defectors exceeded 10,000 in February 2006 and 20,000 in November 2010.
according to rppporteur report from yonhap, link ,The annual number of defectors had steadily increased from 1,384 in 2005 to 2,914 in 2009 but fell between 2011 and 2015 due to the North's tighter border control and stronger punishment of those caught attempting to flee, according to the ministry data.
In the first 10 months of this year, a total of 1,155 North Koreans entered the South, marking an on-year growth of 18 percent.
Ministry officials attributed this year's growth to a combination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's reign of terror and tougher international sanctions on the North. Notably, there was a remarkable increase in the defections of elite North Koreans working overseas.
Data showed 71 percent of defectors are women, with the ratio further rising to 80 percent this year. Ministry officials explained women tend to be less under the Pyongyang regime's supervision.
By age, those in their 20s and 30s at the time of defection accounted for 58 percent of the total, the data showed.
The unification ministry will soon come up with comprehensive measures to support the resettlement of the defectors in the South, which may include expansions of jobs and education opportunities.