Do you know how the idea of ’Unification of North and South’ is made up? Although Korea achieved independence from Japan on August 15, 1945, we went separate ways and the 38th parallel boundary was hardened because North wanted to set up pro-Soviet government and South wanted a pro-American government. Therefore, some people say the division of Korea into North and South wasn’t our will and it’s time to unify the two Koreas.
We surveyed 294 CWNU students to find out how they think about the unification. We asked students, “Do you think that North and South Korea have to be unified?” 207 students (70%) answered ‘Yes’ and 87 students (30%) said ‘No’. Most students feel that we need to unify.
However, the reason for unification that students gave was against our expectation. Only 54 students (27%) answered we should unify the two Koreas because ‘we are the Korean race’ and it just ranked second. Many students (60 students, 32%) answered ‘because of expected economic synergy effect’. Subsequently, 42 students (19%) said the two Koreas have to unify ‘to reduce a danger of war that may occur’ and 33 students (16%) said ‘to cut excessive national defense expenditure’. Next, there are 12 students (6%) who answered 'to reunite dispersed families'.
We inquired about how students thought unification could be brought about. 96 students (44%) said ‘North and South knowing each other’s news’. It seems that many students are indifferent to unifying because we receive news of North Korea through other countries. Also 81 students (42%) said ‘having peaceful unification education’ and 30 students (14%) said ‘constant aiding to North korea’.
However, a few students have opposite views about unifying. We inquired about why they oppose it. The majority of students (50%) answered ‘because of a social turmoil caused by difference of ideology (ex, communism & democracy)’. Also ‘economic difficulties caused by the gap between the two nations’ and ‘problems from a dense population to South Korea’ are followed.
Leaving pros and cons, an economic factor was a big part of thinking of the unification. If you weren’t interested in unifying, I hope this survey is thought provoking for you.
Choi Hyeon-kyeong -
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