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More North Koreans `defect'

By P. S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE, JULY 28. In what is being described as an unprecedented episode of "mass defections" to South Korea, a batch of 241 North Koreans arrived at an international airport near Seoul today.

The reported `defection' of this latest batch, by a charted flight, follows the arrival of over 200 North Koreans (227, according to one estimate) at a military airport near Seoul on Tuesday. Both batches reached Seoul from an unspecified Asian country, where they had first gone from North Korea, by charted flights that were arranged by the South Korean authorities.

So far, over 5,000 North Koreans are said to have `defected' to the southern part of the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Following the arrival of the first batch on Tuesday, the South Korean Unification Minister, Chung Dong-young, was quoted as saying that Seoul would now "need to review and upgrade the overall policy" of allowing North Korean `defectors' to settle in the south.

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