Ten N. Korean defectors fly to S. Korea from third-world country

Paige Turner, July 15, 2019, 9:50 a.m.


Ten North Korean defectors flew from a third country to Incheon International Airport last Thursday. They are being questioned by security officials.

No details of their identities and motivation were revealed. They fled the North separately but gathered in the unnamed third country to wait their turn for the flight to South Korea.

The North has tightened a crackdown on defectors as it grew closer to China. China is typically the first port of call for defectors, whom it sees as illegal migrants.

According to one activist who helps defectors, at least 39 North Koreans are being detained in the Chinese province of Liaoning. Some 67 separate calls have been made to the South Korean Foreign Ministry to rescue defectors who have been arrested in China.

According to the Unification Ministry, 546 defectors arrived in South Korea in the first six months of this year, up from 487 in the same period last year.

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