South Korean cash incentive for elite North Korean defectors

South Korea announced Sunday that the amount of money given to defectors from the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) will quadruple.

For defectors with sensitive information, the South previously offered $217,000. That figure will increase to $860,000 in a bid to gather more intelligence about its northern neighbors.

There has been no change in the amount offered to defectors for 20 years. “One of the biggest reasons why North Koreans are hesitant about defecting is because they are fearful of [how they would make a living] after they come to South Korea,”  reported the South Korean Yonhap news agency, quoting an anonymous South Korean minister, according to The Guardian.

The cash incentive is designed to encourage more people to flee south, especially North Korean elites. The amount of money given would depend on the quality of information, the article said.

“To be clear, the vast majority will not benefit from this ‘fee’. Only the North Korean elite will have secrets worth anything to the South Koreans,” says Aidan Foster Carter to Newsweek, honorary research fellow in sociology and modern Korea at the University of Leeds.

[Newsweek]

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