A total of 1,047 North Korean defectors arrived in South Korea last year, the lowest number in 18 years, according to data from the unification ministry on Monday.
The total includes 202 males and 845 females. By quarter, 229 arrived in the first three months of the year, 320 in the second quarter, 226 in the third and the remaining 272 in the fourth, according to the data.
The number of defectors arriving in the South rose after 2000 before peaking in 2009 at 2,914 people. Since current leader Kim Jong-un took power following the death of his father in late 2011, between 1,100 and 1,500 defectors have arrived in the South annually. (Yonhap)