FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date of Issue: December 30th (Wed), 2020
○ NKDB and NKSR publish the ‘2020 Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors in South Korea.’
○ 65.7% of North Korean defectors sent remittances to North Korea an average of 1.8 times despite the effects of COVID-19… Total annual remittances fell by 14.22 million won compared to last year
○ The unemployment rate among North Korean Defectors is 7.7%, the worst ever recorded… Over 2 times higher than last year’s 3.1%
1. The Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) and NK Social Research (NKSR) are presenting the results of the “2020 Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors” survey on December 30th 2020. The survey includes the status of social integration, such as contacting families, sending money to North Korea, access to outside information, and awareness of migration, as well as the economic integration status regarding employment trends and economic activities such as employment, unemployment, and income.
2. The North Korean defectors’ social and economic integration survey has been carried out every year since the first of its kind in 2005 to periodically gather and analyze information regarding North Korean defectors’ economic activities and trends. The survey gauges the level of employment trends and economic activities among North Korean defectors, and the provision of these trends are important. This research was carried out from November 30th until December 15th, 2020 using an existing panel of North Korean defectors (247 people, 59.7%) as well as newly added participants (167 people, 40.3%) comprising a total of 414 people. The survey was conducted by phone, email, and in-person visits.
3. The survey results shows that among the 414 participants, 272 (65.7%) answered that they have experience sending remittances to North Korea. Among those with experience, 110 send remittances an average of 1.8 times this year. Those who sent remittances in 2020 sent an average of 1.51 million won for each transaction, for a total of 299.78 million won in 2020. Compared to last year’s total amount of 314 million won, the total amount remitted declined by 14.22 million won.
4. Among the 414 participants, 160 (38.6%) continued to contact their families in North Korea to confirm receipt of remittance (53.8%), check on family members (35.6%), and business purposes (7.2%). Further, among the 414 participants, 254 (61.4%) said that they had exposure to outside information when they were in North Korea. When asked about the effect of the information, 140 respondents said the information increased favorability for South Korean society (36.5%), 90 said it increased awareness of the state of North Korea (23.4%), 48 said it provided recognition of simple facts (12.5%), and 35 said that it increased their feelings of resistance to the North Korean regime (9.1%).
5. Among survey participants, 260 (62.8%) are part of the economically active age group, and of these 260, 20 (7.7%) are unemployed, showing that the unemployment rate among North Korean defectors has risen 4.6% from last year’s 3.1% unemployment rate. This figure is 2 times higher than the unemployment rate among the general population. (See attached Annex. 1 for more detailed findings)
6. We appreciate your attention and coverage of the results of the “2020 Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors Survey.”
Seminar on the Results of the “2020 Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors in South Korea”
- Date and Time: December 30, 2020 (Wed), 14:00-15:50 KST
- Method of Participation: Due to the rise in cases of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, the seminar will be held online. (Further details below)
- Webinar Registration: https://forms.gle/dpmAbK3AP3gs1SZq5
- Youtube Live: Search for ‘디비티비(DBTV)’ or ‘NKDB’ and connect to our live stream.
14:00 - 14:10 Opening Remarks by NKDB Chairman of the Board, Shin Young-ho
14:10 - 14:30
Topic 1: The Anti-Leaflet Law and the Status of North Korean Defectors’ Remittances and Connections (Kim Sungnam, Research Fellow at NKDB)
14:30-14:50 Topic 2: The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Status of North Korean Defectors Economic Activities (Kim Sowon, Researcher at NKDB)
15:40-15:50 Closing Remarks by NKDB Chairman of the Board, Shin Young-ho