March 26, 2015 08:10
Most North Koreans who flee the country seek freedom from oppression rather than escape from hunger, according to a study by Hanawon.
The Unification Ministry's resettlement center surveyed 677 North Koreans who had resettlement training from January to March of last year, and 41.7 percent said they left the North in search of freedom.
In another poll of 598 defectors who attended Hanawon from April to June last year, 51.5 percent gave the same answer. Only 27.7 percent said they came to the South to avoid starving to death.
In the latter half of 2013, the proportion who cited freedom was 40 percent.
The findings contradict claims by some sections of South Korean society who see North Korean defectors as mainly economic migrants.
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