February 21, 2024

Growing Pains for North Korean Defector Teens

Some integration issues are cultural, others are just a fact of life.

Over a third of North Korean defector middle school students in South Korea do not feel pride in being South Korean citizens, a survey has found. Of the students polled in a study for the Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), a third also felt that South Korea was not a good place to live compared to the rest of the world.

While the findings are unsurprising given the well-documented struggles North Koreans face in adapting to life in the South, this survey may reveal as much about the nature of being a teenager as the students’ sense of pride in South Korea.