In 2011, a reported 2,706 North Koreans defected from the country and entered South Korea.
Between January and March 2012, there were 366 North Korean defectors. Between April and June 2012, there were 385 defections.
After the death of Kin Jong Il, the number of defections dropped by 42 percent in the first half of 2012. South Korean officials attribute the drop in defections to increased security. The crackdown on defections have caused the price to bribe a border guard to increase. In 2012, the cost of a bribe was reported to be $6,000, compared to $1,000 a few years ago.
It was previously reported that it costs a defector up to $7,000 to smuggle a person from North Korea into China and eventually South Korea.
Source: Chico Harlan, “With crackdown, N. Korea puts a hold on defectors,” Washington Post, July 20, 2012.