SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — A total of 157 North Korean defectors were held in South Korean prisons as of July, with 54 serving time for drug-related crimes, government data showed Tuesday.
The number of defector prisoners has been on a steady rise in recent years from 113 in 2015 to 135 in 2016, 144 in 2017 and 149 last year, according to the unification ministry data submitted to Rep. Sim Jae-kwon of the ruling Democratic Party.
Including narcotic charges, defectors convicted of violent crimes, such as murder, robbery and rape, accounted for 54.1 percent of the total this year, the data showed.
“The unification ministry … should strengthen compliance and anti-crime education, as well as training related to capitalism, to the defectors to make sure that they do not become criminals in the South Korean society,” Rep. Sim said.
As of last year, more than 32,000 North Korean defectors were living in South Korea.