In Korea we have close to 30 thousand refugees from the North and 70 percent of them are women.
Many of these women were married in the North and have left family to escape the hunger. Circumstances, and the whirlpool of life in which they were involved was the reason for the life they now have in the South.
missing their families are their biggest difficulties in the
South. Hunger which they faced was their reason for leaving, but
the longer here the more they miss their families, and feel guilt for
having left them, although they now have escaped the hunger.These are
the words of a refugee from the North who has a column in the Peace
time passes many prepare to build another nest here in the South and
end up marrying a South Korean. Marriage
Information Companies they have established, and family members introduce
them to mates, hoping to overcome the loneliness with marriage.
Compared to men in the North, who she describes as unsocial, the men
in the South leave the women with an impression of intimacy and
kindness. After marriage, for a short period of time, they are happy
but shortly the difference in culture and thinking begin to
appear, and misunderstanding follows. Marriages,
occasionally, don't even last a year before divorce.
and money matters are often the issue. Women in the North have been
under a dictatorial government and in fighting the evils in society,
in order to live, have had to endure much. This has made their way of
speaking coarse, and even in small matters they fight to resolve their
problems. Men here in the South are quiet and introspective and facing
this demeanor on the part of the wife is difficult to understand.
feel it is their job to handle the money of the house. In the
North this was the women's work. In the house to have money that is 'yours' and 'mine' is not
understood. With this kind of thinking we have a lack of trust and women despair.
We have the separation of the two
Koreas and in marriage we find the difference so pronounced that living
together as husband and wife is difficult. Is this not a lack of care
for the other? Men need to understand the women's scars and make
allowances; women need to understand how the man looks upon the use of money and see her husband as a
partner for life.
Problems defectors face in the South and especially those married to South Koreans should be used as a blueprint to work towards unification. Without serious efforts to help the defectors adapt to life in the South, our approach to achieve unification will lack honesty and be a pipe dream.