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Number of N. Korean defectors plunges in 2021 amid pandemic

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
The number of North Koreans who defected to South Korea dropped to double digits last year apparently due to the North's strict border restrictions against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an official here Thursday.

A total of 63 North Koreans -- 40 men and 23 women -- settled in the South during the year, compared with 229 in 2020 and 1,047 in 2019, the unification ministry official told reporters on background.

The decline seems attributable mainly to the North Korea-China border controls, the official added. (Yonhap)
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