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Will Aid Bring about the Unification of the Two Koreas?
By Jun Yoomi  |  yoomi326@hanyang.ac.kr
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[308호] 승인 2010.04.01  
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

   After the inauguration of Lee Myung-bak, the 17th president of the Republic of Korea, the government's policy toward North Korea has taken a harder line. The support from the government to the organizations helping North Koreans has decreased. The confrontation between the two Koreas, since the sinking of the Cheonan naval vessel, is raising concerns among many South Koreans. In May, the government announced the changes in policies toward North Korea. While the relationship between the North and South seems to become colder by the second, The Hanyang Journal wanted to hear the opinions of Hanyangians, on supporting and aiding North Korea. This was reached through a survey.
   According to the survey, while 76 percent of Hanyangians supported the unification of North and South Korea, 56.8 percent disagreed with the North Korea Aid Policy. The greatest reason was the lack of transparency. Methods to find out whether the aid is actually benefiting poor North Koreans are insufficient Hanyangians also worry about the possibility of South Korea's aid being used for the development of nuclear weapons. Thus, the lack of certainty about where the aid is used, and about whom it really benefits, is the major issue for Hanyangians.
   On the other hand, among the respondents who agreed with the policy, 35.6 percent agreed because they felt that North Koreans who have been suffering from hunger must be saved and cared for. To the same question, 27.7 percent of Hanyangians replied that South Korea must keep on aiding North Korea because North Koreans and South Koreans are, despite of the division, one race. In summary, according to the humanitarian supporters, and the shared nationality, the aid policy must continue.
   When Hanyangians were asked whether they thought the North Korea Aid Policy has played a role in improving the relationship between North and South Korea, 52.4 percent answered "No," while 40 percent replied "Yes." 7.6 percent of the respondents replied that they "Not interested". Referring to the survey's result, more than half of the Hanyangians' opinions toward the aid policy seemed pessimistic. Hanyangians feel the transparent announcement about how the aid reaches its planned destination and subjects, is  necessary.
   On the question of how much influence Hanyangians think the aid policy had on relations between the countries, both pro and con sides were 32.2 percent. Moreover, 36.8 percent of the survey participants replied that the amount of aid must be cut down. On the other hand, the second most popular answer was to maintain the current policy, responded by 24.8 percent of participants.
   Most Koreans have learned starting from their elementary school days that the unification of two Koreas should be hoped for. Songs with lyrics clearly longing for unification appear in many textbooks. Also, as shown in the result, whether or not they are for the Aid Policy, a majority of people seek unification. Therefore, despite the emotions aroused after the Cheonan naval vessel incident, the unification of the two Koreas is considered to be something both countries must work to achieve.

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