Portrayal of defections reflect the state of relations between North and South Korea

This year we have learned that a growing number of North Korean diplomats and other North Koreans working for the regime overseas are defecting from their posts.

Information about defections usually comes primarily, if not entirely, from South Korea, which means that country sets the tone for how important the case is.

Under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, who took power after his father died in 2012, around 1,400 North Koreans renounce their citizenship and wind up in South Korea each year.

North Korea watchers tend to focus less on these “general population” defections, and more on defections by key North Korean officials who work abroad.

Some analysts say the South Korean government plays up or plays down defections depending on the state of relations between the two countries. continued

[NPR]

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