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24 Pct. of NK Defectors Wish to Leave S. Korea: Poll

Posted October. 22, 2010 11:48,   


Thirty percent of North Korean defectors living in South Korea are considering immigrating to another country chiefly because of discrimination, a survey released Thursday said.

Ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Young-woo commissioned a poll of 210 North Korean defectors Oct. 6-19. Fifty respondents (24 percent) said they wish to go to another country, with four even saying they want to return to North Korea.

Among those seeking to move abroad, 21 (42 percent) cited discrimination against defectors in South Korea as the reason, followed by their children’s education (11 people or 22 percent) and the difficulty in getting a job (nine people or 18 percent).

A 40-something female defector who participated in the survey asked for help with her child’s education, saying, “Since my child is very different (from South Korean children) in language, personality and knowledge, he cannot do what he wants.”

On Korean reunification, 80 percent (168 respondents) said, “Korea must be reunified absolutely.” On shouldering reunification costs, 50.8 percent (101) said they are willing to help cover the cost and 17.1 percent (34) said they would help if it is a small amount.

On the method of reunification, 52.2 percent (105) preferred absorption as result of the collapse of the North’s communist regime and 23.9 percent (48) wanted a model guaranteeing sovereignty.

Rep. Kim acknowledged problems in Seoul’s policy for supporting defectors given the number of defectors wishing to move to another country or even back to North Korea.