Home World Asia News South Korea Increases Reward It Pays for North Korean Defectors to $860,000

South Korea Increases Reward It Pays for North Korean Defectors to $860,000

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South Korea has decided to quadruple the reward it pays defectors from North Korea who share information to $860,000.

North Korean defectors can expect to receive the six-figure payout if they cross the border with intelligence that helps enhance South Korea’s security.

Defecting can be an expensive process as a result of dealing with people-smugglers.

Other amounts will be given to soldiers who defect with weapons.

Photo Reuters

South Korea’s unification ministry said funds would be paid to individuals bringing artillery ranging from aircraft and tanks to small arms.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the sums paid would be determined on a sliding scale of importance.


This is the first such increase in 20 years. So far Pyonyang has not reacted.

North Koreans who wish to defect face crossing the border with China and the risk of being caught and repatriated by the Chinese authorities. They then face a prison sentence back home.

Many rely on people-smugglers to help them arrive in South Korea, with the brokers often demanding large payments to escape North Korea.

Last year, Thae Yong-ho became one of the highest-ranking officials ever to defect from North Korea. He had been a diplomat for Pyongyang in London.

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