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   The number of North Korean refugees entering the South rose steadily from 1998 to 2011.For various reasons, defection became more difficult, with the result that the number of refugees fell in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, 1,516 North Korean refugees came to Korea, bringing the cumulative total to 26,124 by the end of December 2013.

   The number of female North Korean refugees exceeded that of males for the first time in 2002. This trend continued until 2013, when female defectors accounted for about 70% of all refugees.


North Korean Refugees in South Korea
Year/
Classification
~’98 ~’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12 ’13 합계
Male 831 565 510 474 626 424 515 573 608 662 591 795 404 369 8,049
Female 116 478 632 811 1,272 960 1,513 1,981 2,195 2,252 1,811 1,911 1,098 1,145 18,668
Total 947 1,043 1,142 1,285 1,898 1,384 2,028 2,554 2,803 2,914 2,402 2,706 1,502 1,514 26,717


   The ROK government recognizes North Korean refugees as dislocated people who also suffer as a result of national division. It has steadfastly adhered to the principle of accommodating all those who, by their own free will, choose to receive protection and support from the South Korean government. Upon their arrival in South Korea, the government provides them with a variety of basic benefits to help them enjoy the freedom and human rights of South Korean society.
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