The number of North Koreans requesting asylum in Europe has dropped since 2013, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat on Friday.
The statistics showed that 85 North Korean defectors sought asylum in 28 European Union member states and four countries from the European Free Trade Association last year.
Among them, 70 requested refuge for the first time and 15 were making the request for the second time after initially being rejected.
By gender, more women requested asylum in Europe, with the number reaching 45. The list also included 20 children who are under the age of 14.
Until 2013, the number of North Koreans seeking asylum in Europe had been on the rise, peaking in 2013 with 400 North Koreans requesting asylum in Europe.
The figure dropped to 140 in 2014. In 2015, there were 130 North Koreans who applied to move to a European country.
By country, 30 defectors sought refuge in Germany while France and Britain received 20 requests each. Sweden, Luxembourg and Bulgaria also separately received five such requests.
Experts view the decreasing trend being partly due to the lower number of those defecting from the North. The stricter measures in granting asylum proposed by European countries, following the surge in refugees from the Middle East and Africa, is also thought to have contributed to the fall.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org