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SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- The number of North Korean escapees who are living in the United States is tallied at 159, a U.S. radio station reported Saturday.
The U.S. began accepting North Korean refugees after adopting the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004. Their number rose from nine in the 2006 fiscal year to 37 in 2008 and 22 last year, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) said in a report, monitored in Seoul.
The report, written with data provided by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. State Department, said that from last October to the end of 2012, 13 North Koreans had obtained refugee status and were allowed into the country.
It did not give information on the number for this year.
The report said that the number of North Korean escapees allowed into the U.S. is very small, compared with more than 1.42 million other Asians who have been accepted by Washington.
One reason for the small number of North Korean refugees in the U.S. is because relatively few of them have sought asylum in the U.S., it said, adding that a long waiting time also turns them away to South Korea and other countries.
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