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A group of seven North Korean defectors hoping to start a new life in South Korea has been detained in Thailand.


Citing local media, Voice of America reported that Thai police arrested seven North Koreans on the northern side of the Mekong River.


The group, which consisted of youngsters and the elderly, were traveling without passports.


Thai authorities were told the group wanted to be taken to the South Korean Embassy in Bangkok.


A growing number of defectors from the reclusive state are being caught after traveling through China to a third country en route to South Korea.


Those captured in China are often sent back to their Stalinist home country and face harsh punishments on return.


(THE CHOSUNILBO)