SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Red Cross says that four of the 31 North Koreans held after their boat strayed into South Korean waters have asked to resettle in the South.

The Red Cross said in a statement Thursday that the other 27 North Koreans will be repatriated to the North through the border village of Panmunjom later this week.

The North Koreans were aboard a small fishing motorboat that drifted across the Koreas’ western sea border about one month ago.

More than 20,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea, most via China, since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

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