Aid for NK Is Not Helpful for Citizens

[imText1]The majority of defectors in South Korea believe that the government’s aid for North Korea will not be of any real assistance.

Last month, KBS’ Social Education Channel conducted a survey between the 16~19th targeting approximately 300 defectors over the age of 20, living in S. Korea. Of the participants, 35% responded that the “Government’s aid for North Korea does not help citizens in any way.” Further, 28% responded that it “overall it does not help,” which suggests that 63% of defectors have a negative attitude on the government’s aid for North Korea.

This analysis arises from the fact that the South Korean government’s aid for North Korea does not actually reach North Korean citizens. Criticism suggest that in the past, the majority of goods fell into the hands of military officials as no clear security checks were made with the distributions for the people.

The survey showed that aid for North Korea “somewhat helpful” to be 20.3% whereas only 10.3% of defectors believed it would be “very Helpful.”

As for the reason why defectors left North Korea, 37% of respondents selected “Hunger resulting from malnutrition,” whereas 35% had “Negative feelings towards the North Korea system including politics.” Also, the survey unveiled that the main motive to defect as a result of North Korea’s political and economic issue.

Furthermore, the survey showed 12.3% of people to have a ‘Desire to find relatives,’ and 6.7% “Aspiration for the South Korean society.”

The majority of defectors hear rumors about South Korea in North Korea

[imText2]The survey revealed that the number of defectors who had heard about South Korea before leaving North Korea was a total 84.7%. Prior to leaving North Korea, these people had access to information about South Korea through relatives or neighbors 29.3%, the radio 24% and television 21.3%.

Having arrived in South Korea, sources of greatest help included the “television” 42.7%, “neighboring people” 24.7%, and the “internet” 23.7%. People who were older in age tended to select the “television” compared to younger respondents in their 20’s who selected the “internet” 34.1%.

Regarding a question about assimilating to life in Korea, 69% of defectors indicated that they were adjusting well and 84.3% of defectors were satisfied. Defectors were greatly satisfied was “Independence and guaranteed freedom of human rights” 57.3% and many people were also satisfied with a “comfortable lifestyle” 11.7%, a developed culture 10.7% and the economy’s wealth 9.7%.

Focusing on economic lifestyle, 40.6% of defectors felt an “Overall improvement” and one of the hardest issues to be “Preconceptions and discrimination against defectors” 28.3%. One of the areas assistance was greatly needed included “Job recommendations” 32.3%, “Government welfare” 22%, “Finding a home” 19.3%, and “School, education and job training” 11.3%.

In addition, the results indicated that 38.3% of defectors aspired for ‘South-North unification,’ 25.7% ‘a good job’ and 22.7% felt warm interests from South Korean people.

The result of this survey will be broadcasted on KBS radio Social Education Channel on Dec. 4th and 5th as a two part exclusive series on ‘The Ten Thousand Defector Generation.’