Why the Preference Towards Third Countries?

Ryu Kyung Ah Researcher Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies As of December 2015, there were 28,795 North Korean defectors in South Korea. Although approximately 3000 defectors entered South Korea during 2009, there has been a gradual decrease, as less than 1300 defectors entered in 2015. North Korean defectors are granted citizenship and provided with the opportunity to settle in South Korea. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the number of defectors relocating and applying for refugee status in “third countries”. There have been more defectors moving from countries used as a route out of North Korea such as China, Mongolia, and Thailand, into the USA, Canada, and the UK.

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