A group of North Koreans, including several minors, recently crossed into South Korea via the disputed western maritime border. and its members are currently being interrogated by the authorities in Seoul, according to sources close to this fact to the Yonhap news agency.

The southern army located the boat in which the North Koreans were traveling when it approached the so-called Northern Limit Line (LLN) in the Yellow Sea on the night of May 6.

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The ship was intercepted after crossing the dividing line and its crew members apparently express their desire to settle in South Korea, according to the aforementioned sources.s.

The group is now at a military base in Seoul where it is being interrogated by different authorities, including the National Intelligence Service (NIS), as established by the usual protocols when a North Korean citizen arrives on South Korean territory, since both countries remain technically at war since 1950.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In recent years the number of North Koreans who have managed to reach South Korea has been reduced. (of the almost 1,000 that arrived in 2019, it has risen to just over 60 in 2021 and 2022) due in part to the enormous reinforcement of border security by the Kim Jong-un regime to prevent the entry of Covid-19 in their territory.

Desertions across the sea or land borders between the two countries are rare due to the level of military surveillance that exists between the dividing lines, which is why most North Koreans who decide to leave their country do so across the border with China. .

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Although the majority of defectors settle in China (the exact number is unknown, but some NGOs speak of tens or hundreds of miles)One part tries to reach the South, where more than 33,000 have arrived in the last two decades, through a third country -mainly Thailand and Mongolia- requesting asylum in South Korean embassies and consulates, a process that those of China cannot. .

Beijing, which wants to prevent mass migration of North Koreans, does not consider North Koreans as refugees but as «economic migrants», so if it locates them on its territory it forcibly repatriates them to North Korea, where imprisonment and a regime of imprisonment awaits them. torture, as documented by humanitarian groups and the UN.


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