The Ministry of Unification said Monday that last year saw a 10-percent increase in the number of North Korean refugees in the South.
The number of North Korean refugees having crossed the border in 2008 to seek new lives in the South totaled 2,809, the ministry said.
The figure brought the total number of North Korean refugees living in South Korea to 15,057.
The increase rate of 2006, compared with that of the previous year, was 46 percent, and that of 2007 was 26 percent.
The ministry said the rate for last year was much lower than those of previous years because the Chinese government cracked down on ``illegal'' immigration before the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.