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North Korean defectors to Thailand jumps 50-fold in six years: report

The number of North Korean defectors to Thailand has jumped more than 50 times since 2004, a U.S. report claimed Saturday.

Radio Free Asia (RFA), citing a Thai newspaper, the Bangkok Post, said the number of North Koreans who illegally entered Thailand and were arrested soared from 46 in 2004 to 2,482 in 2010.

Through April this year, 870 North Koreans have been arrested for illegal entry, RFA added.

Thailand is a frequent destination for North Koreans escaping through China. North Koreans are not granted refugee status in Thailand, but after serving their prison sentences for illegal entry, they're deported to South Korea or the U.S. (Yonhap News)