The cumulative number of asylum applications filed in South Korea has topped 70,000, government data showed.
According to data from the Korea Immigration Service, there have been 70,254 asylum-seekers here dating from 1994, when the government began to compile relevant data, to August this year.
The number of asylum-seekers totaled a mere 5,069 between 1994 and 2012, but began to rise sharply from 2013, when the Refugee Act was brought into enforcement. The annual number increased to 1,574 in 2013, 9,942 in 2017, 16,173 in 2018 and 15,452 last year.
In all, 5,896 asylum applications were submitted in the first eight months of this year, down 36.5 percent from 9,278 applications in the same period of last year. The trend contrasts from a deeper downturn of 80.6 percent in the number of foreign arrivals in South Korea in the January-August period this year. (Yonhap)