South Korean Survey: Majority of North Korean Defectors Dislike Hereditary Leadership

South Korean Survey: Majority of North Korean Defectors Dislike Hereditary Leadership

Feb. 7, 2024, 8:28 a.m.

The South Korean government says more than half of North Koreans who have defected in recent years have expressed negative views on their country's hereditary power succession.

The Unification Ministry released a report Tuesday on its survey of 6,351 North Koreans who had fled their country by 2020. The survey asked them about the North's political, social and economic situations.

The results found that 54.9 percent of North Koreans who had defected over the five years through 2020 had a negative view of their former country's hereditary leadership system.

The report noted that such critical views have been growing since Kim Jong Un inherited power following the death of his father in 2011.

The survey showed that among defectors who escaped from the North in 2016 or later, 83.3 percent said they had watched dramas and other videos produced by China and South Korea. This suggests that many showed a great interest in matters outside their country despite Pyongyang's strict control over media.

The report also said individual market activities are growing in North Korea as the country's food rationing system has virtually collapsed. It pointed out that some defectors said they had privately bought or sold houses, which is prohibited in the North.

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