SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — According to a new survey, 8 out 10 Koreans think that South and North Korea will eventually become a unified nation in the long run.
Most of the individuals surveyed said that the first thing that the South Korean government should do, in terms of its policy on North Korea, is to push the regime to denuclearize.
However, more people were pessimistic on the likelihood of the North giving up its nuclear arms.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released the results of a survey on “public awareness of inter-Korea relations” yesterday.
According to the survey, 79.6 percent of those questioned thought that the two Korea would likely be unified in the distant future, while 3.9 percent answered that this would happen in the near future.
Among the respondents, 62.9 percent preferred taking gradual steps towards unification, while 29.9 percent said they preferred to have the South and North remain as independent countries.
Another 7.2 percent of respondents said they wanted the two states to be unified as soon as possible.
When asked about the socio-economic gains that would result from unification, 64.6 percent answered that the gains would be “big” or mostly big.
Those willing to share the burden of the cost of unification with additional taxes was 47.1 percent, which outweighed those who were less willing to pay (30.6 percent).
Of those who were willing to share the burden, 717 were asked specifically about how much they were willing to pay.
Of the 717, 26.2 percent said that they would be willing to pay 10,000 to 20,000 won per month, while 19.8 percent said between 20,000 and 30,000 won per month, 18.3 percent said they would be up for over 40,000 won per month, 15.6 percent said 30,000 to 40,000 won, 14.5 percent said 5,000 to 10,000 won per month and 5.6 percent wanted to spend less than 5,000 won per month.
In terms of the top policy goals, 63.8 percent of respondents said the denuclearization of the regime was the top priority, followed by the signing of a peace agreement (38 percent), South-North economic cooperation (31.6 percent), reforming and opening up North Korea (27 percent), and the reunion of separated families (24.5 percent).
Multiple answers were allowed for this question. Although most people (85.1 percent) had high expectations that North Korea would open up its doors, more people thought the hermit kingdom would not be willing to give up its nuclear arms (43.2 percent) than those who thought otherwise (33.7 percent).
The survey was conducted with the participation of 1,521 adults nationwide, between June 29 and July 6, via the Internet through a process known as computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI).
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)