Annual Number of North Korean Refugees Entering South Korea

The number of North Korean refugees entering South Korea began to increase steadily from 1998. In 2017, a total of 1,055 North Korean refugees came to South Korea, bringing the cumulative total to 31,267 by the end of the year. The number of female North Korean refugees exceeded that of males for the first time in 2002. The female population continued to account for the majority every year afterwards and in 2017 they reached up to 80% of all North Korean refugees.

The Korean government recognizes North Korean refugees as dislocated people who are also victims of national division. It has unfailingly accommodated all those who, by their own free will, have sought its protection and support. Upon their arrival in South Korea, the government grants them a variety of basic benefits to provide them with all the freedoms and human rights of South Korean society.

Number of NK-refugee by year

* Ministry of Unification (Dec, 2019)

KEY FEATURES OF NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES IN SOUTH KOREA (End of March, 2020)

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    • Female
    • Male
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    • Border area
    • Other areas
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    • Adult
    • Infant
    • Teenager
    • Child
    • Elderly