It’s understandable why many North Koreans desire to flee the Hermit Kingdom. What’s interesting to note, however, is the economic class of defectors that have found their way out of North Korea.
According to a survey from the Korean Unification Ministry, the percentage of defectors from the “middle-class” rose from 19% (in 2001) to 55.9% after 2014.
The increase stems from the fact that more defectors from higher statuses in the North possess the resources to escape, said the Unification Ministry.
The latest high-profile defection comes from Thae Yong-Ho, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to London. As one of the highest-ranking North Korean officials to have defected, it wouldn’t be farfetched to believe that others will eventually follow suit.
Although the reasons to cross the border, or in some exceptional cases remain away from, are numerous, it’s noteworthy that one of their highly-publicized punishments in North Korea seems to have decreased: North Korea leader Kim Jong Un is estimated to have executed about 130 officials in the 5 years he’s been in power, while Kim Jong Il, his father, had put to death over 2,000 officials in a 6 year span.