Why it matters if South Koreans personally know a North Korean defector
Few in ROK have met escapee, but personal contact influences views on defector support, inter-Korean issues and more
Over 34,000 North Korean defectors have arrived in South Korea since the last 90s, and ROK law stipulates that these refugees automatically become citizens and are subject to a three-month resettlement program, as well as eligible for subsidies following their release.
Despite this, many defectors continue to struggle to adapt to life in their new home, and research shows that hostility to these refugees is growing, in part due concerns about the financial costs of social programs to aid integration.
A 2019 study of 739 South Koreans found that, especially women, were less supportive of increasing resettlement funds
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