Korea: October 5, 2003

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The South Korean government reported that, in the last fifty years, only 3,834 North Koreans have made it to South Korea. And 77 percent of those have arrived in the last five years.  It's expected that 1,200 will make it this year. But during that period, it's estimated that some 300,000 North Koreans have escaped to China, and a much smaller number to Russia. The border between north and south Korea, the DMZ (demilitarized zone) is a five kilometer wide minefield covered by observers armed with machine-guns and artillery. Very few northerners have made it through the DMZ. A few have made it down the coast in boats, but the North Korean coats swarm with small patrol boats.

 

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