Gov't to Increase Benefits for N.Korean Defectors

  • By Kim Myong-song

    November 28, 2016 13:06

    The government will raise the subsidy given to North Korean defectors when they first settle here now their number has exceeded 30,000 mark recently.

    The Unification Ministry on Sunday said it will gradually raise both the resettlement payment and housing expenses for defectors, which currently are W7 million and W13 million per person taking wage and inflation rates into consideration (US$1=W1,177).

    The government initially paid every defector W37 million to get settled between 1998 and 2004, when the Roh Moo-hyun administration halved the subsidy to encourage defectors to take their lives in their own hands.

    But defector groups point out that it is difficult to settle in with the current payout given that they have often spent all their money on traffickers and fines in third countries like Laos and Thailand.

    The ministry also pledged to create public-sector jobs for defectors to help them integrate and encourage more private firms to hire them.

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