More Defectors Open Their Own Business

      June 06, 2016 08:32

      Only around 1,200 out of some 26,000 North Korean defectors who live here own a business.

      That puts the proportion at 4.9 percent, far fewer than the 15.4 percent among born-and-bred South Koreans.

      But the signs are encouraging since the proportion of defectors who own a business has increased from a mere 1.2 percent in 2011.

      A North Korean defector works in her clothes repair shop in Seoul. She manages five branches and employs six defectors.

      A spokesman for the Korea Hana Foundation, which helps defectors settle here, said, "Many defectors are over 40, and people in this age group tend to prefer to start their own businesses rather than working for someone else."

      More than half of all defectors are over 40, which makes it difficult for them to find permanent employment in someone else's company.

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