North Korea on Friday disclosed the number of its female citizens who had returned to the country after defecting over the course of the last decade, claiming that most of them are living at home and have not been punished.
The report did not specify whether the returns or repatriations had been voluntary, South Korean news agency Yonhap said.
Human rights organizations and the UN have reported that North Koreans who flee to China are arrested there and deported back to North Korea.
In the report to the U.N. committee, North Korea said economic difficulties or human-trafficking groups had forced the women to leave the country illegally, in most cases crossing the border to China.
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