'NKorean defectors earn less than other SKoreans' | world | Hindustan Times
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'NKorean defectors earn less than other SKoreans'

North Korean defectors to South Korea earn less than a third of the average monthly income of other South Koreans, a government survey showed on Tuesday.

world Updated: Mar 24, 2009 13:40 IST

North Korean defectors to South Korea earn less than a third of the average monthly income of other South Koreans, a government survey showed on Tuesday.

The survey found that the average monthly income of defectors stood at 937,000 won (677 dollars) compared with 2.9 million won for other South Koreans in the third quarter of last year.

The survey of 361 defectors was conducted by the unification ministry, which handles cross-border relations.

About 60 per cent of defectors said they were unhappy with their income while 21 per cent said they were in debt -- mostly due to the money they paid brokers to arrange their escape to the South.

The survey showed many newcomers ended up in low-paying blue-collar jobs that need little education.

Thirty per cent were in manufacturing, followed by 19 per cent in the hotel and restaurant industry and 12 per cent each in construction and retail.

More than 15,000 refugees, including 9,950 women, have escaped and come to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 war, the vast majority in recent years.

Defectors say finding stable jobs is the toughest part of adjusting to life in the South, where discrimination against defectors is widespread.