N.Koreans Favor Reunification

Ninety five of 100 North Koreans in China yearn for a unified Korea, and 97 believe it would have a positive influence on their lives, according to a survey.

The North Koreans surveyed said even though their leader Kim Jong-un may oppose reunification, it would be difficult for him to prevent it.

The Chosun Ilbo and Center for Cultural Unification Studies interviewed 100 North Koreans in China's Dandong and Yanji from January to May to get their view on reunification between two Koreas.

The 100 who agreed to be interviewed are in China legally with permission from their country's regime. Four came to China in 2012, 53 in 2013 and 43 in 2014.

Because they left fairly recently, they were able to provide valuable information about the current situation in the North and people’s attitudes there.

A North Korean (left) talks to a Chosun Ilbo reporter in Dandong, China in February. /Courtesy of TV Chosun A North Korean (left) talks to a Chosun Ilbo reporter in Dandong, China in February. /Courtesy of TV Chosun

Asked how necessary reunification is, 95 respondents ticked "very necessary." Forty-eight cited economic development as the chief reason, 24 the need to reunite the Korean people, 16 hope for improved quality of life and six said the pain of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War must end.

Respondents said reunification will ensure better lives for their children and freedom to spend their money as they wish.

Also, 97 respondents said reunification would directly benefit their lives. Some 34 want a unified Korea to have a free-market economy, but 26 want the two sides to agree on a suitable system, and 24 do not care.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 10, 2014 08:15 KST