First NK defectors enter SK Unification Ministry

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification announced
last week that five defectors from North Korea have been selected to work in
the ministry as full time employees. After undertaking hiring procedures
through official channels, the results were announced: two will enter as Level
7 employees while the remaining three will enter as Level 9. There have been
instances of defectors working as contractors at Level 9, but this is the first
time that defectors will be brought aboard as full time Level 7 employees. 

Seeing the Ministry of Unification invite
defectors into their inner circle is a welcome sight indeed. Especially when it
comes to preparing for unification, there are high hopes for the crucial role
that defectors like this will serve. Prior to the appointment of these five
defectors, working in the South Korean government had been nothing more than a
dream for many escapees of the North.

Before this, the highest defectors could
hope for was to secure regular work in local/city government or perhaps the
Ministry of the Interior. That is likely why the applicant pool for these spots
was so competitive, drawing in 104 candidates to vie for the five open spots.

The truth is that life in South Korea
requires a difficult period of acculturation for the North Korean defectors,
whose life experiences give them a different perspective and lifestyle compared
to South Koreans. In recognition of this fact, many people are extremely
appreciative that the South Korean government is taking steps to overcome these
differences and stimulate a spirit of compatriotism. At the same time, it’s
hard not to be in awe of the defectors, who have bridged cultural gaps and are
working hard to become the pillars of a future unified state.

In the road ahead, there will be an
unlimited amount of essential tasks for these defector-ministry workers to
tackle. But we think, first and foremost, we have to feel a sense of pride and
respect for the defector workers, who will be sure to consider the North Korean
residents suffering under Kim Jong Un’s reign as they set to work towards
unification. Unification Media Group wishes above all else, that these
defectors play an instrumental role in fostering conditions that lead to a
North Korean society and economy that are as free and democratic as South
Korea’s are.  

Unification Media Group would like to once
again voice our support and well wishes to the hired defectors and the South
Korean government for selecting them. Lastly, we believe that having defectors
stationed at various government agencies in the South is going to be a pivotal
strategy for preparing for and ushering in the era of unification.

 *The content of this article was transmitted to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.

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