One in five North Korean defectors experience discrimination in the South

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About one out of five North Korean defectors experienced discrimination in South Korea last year mostly due to “cultural” differences, a survey showed Wednesday.

According to the survey conducted by the Hana Foundation, a state-run agency that helps resettlement of North Korean defectors, 17.2 percent of 3,000 defectors polled said that they experienced discrimination last year.

The ratio was slightly down from 20.2 percent reported a year earlier but indicated a still deep-rooted prejudice against those defecting from communist North Korea.

Of them, 76.7 percent said that they were discriminated against because of “cultural” differences such as their way of speaking, manners and lifestyles. It was higher than the corresponding figure of 69.9 percent a year earlier. While South and North Koreans use the same language, their intonation and the meaning of words along with their lifestyles are quite different.

About 44 percent also cited negative perception against North Koreans as a reason for discrimination, followed by 22.9 percent who cited their lack of skills and poor job performance as discrimination.

The survey, however, showed that 74.2 percent said that they are satisfied with their lives in South Korea as they can enjoy liberty and make money as much as they work.

[Yonhap]

This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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