It’s because of statistics like these that no one should underestimate the difficulty of Korean reunification:
The most common ailments among North Korean refugees are dental disease followed by tuberculosis, according to Hanawon, the government-run institution for North Korean refugees. [….]
Some 20 percent of inmates also need psychological treatment after leaving the institution, Hanawon said. Many also still owe money to brokers who arranged their defection to the South and experience discrimination.
Here’s this week’s “we are one” moment:
Park Sun-yo (42) told the news agency her broker took W7 million (US$1=W1,404), leaving her penniless. She added she pretended to be an ethnic Korean from China to get a job in a restaurant since South Koreans dislike North Korean refugees. Kim Eun-hee (33) said she came to the South in the belief that it was a paradise, but South Koreans treat her as a foreigner. She says her salary of W800,000 a month in a paper factory is far less than what others there earn. [Chosun Ilbo, via Relief Web]
An astounding 50% of Hanawon’s budget is spent on … resettlement funds? education? food? new clothing? None of these. The correct answer is … dental work, because so many of the refugees’ molars have fallen out from malnutrition.