Suspected North Korean Defectors Discovered in Boat

Suspected North Korean Defectors Discovered in Boat

( – South Korean officials found a small, wooden boat carrying four defectors from North Korea Tuesday.

Authorities in South Korea believe they might be among the few North Koreans who would risk fleeing south. The small boat was identified by a military ship assigned to guard duty along the nation’s eastern border. They were initially reported by a fishing vessel.

Public television station KBS of South Korea cited an unnamed official in reporting the four defectors as a man and three women, all relatives. They are currently in the custody of South Korea’s military. An investigation is ongoing. No additional details have been released yet.

Since the 90s, over 30,000 citizens of North Korea have sought refuge in South Korea. However, most of them typically travel by land through China. The seas are dangerous along the Korean nations, so most defectors avoid them or are killed attempting to make the journey.

The number of defectors from North Korea has been three times higher in 2023 when compared to last year. More people are expected to leave as the northern state partners with China to impose strict travel rules and oppressive control over citizens. Both nations have also limited land travel to the south and maintained a tighter group over their populations.

North Korea has also reportedly implemented strict measures to control a food crisis in the isolated nation. The government is taking strict control over its entire agricultural industry. The Workers’ Party officials, which maintain full control over the country, promise to improve “rural party work.” There have not yet been visible signs of mass deaths from food shortages, although communication from within the nation is extremely limited.

Despite the food shortage, North Korea continues to show increased aggression towards the west. South Korea has considered the nation an enemy state once again after a few years of slightly better relations.

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