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South Korea: Defectors From North Get $860K

As if leaving behind a murderous authoritarian regime weren’t reward enough, South Korea is sweetening the pot for would-be defectors from the north: Seoul announced it will quadruple the reward for North Koreans who come bearing any “intelligence and knowledge that can enhance South Korea’s security,” per Yonhap.

The new total: A hefty $860,000, reports the BBC. It’s not exactly easy money, though: Defectors run risks including getting caught and sent home, and most often end up paying people smugglers exorbitant sums to get them to safety. This is the first such increase in two decades; the Guardian notes that the current sum is about $217,000. “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,” a unification ministry official tells Yonhap.

 

 

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