Survey: Korea’s Gen Z less interested in unification, Korean identity

06-Jan-2020 Intellasia | UPI | 6:02 AM Print This Post

South Koreans born after 1995 are less supportive of unification and feel less affinity for North Koreans despite a common ethnic identity, according to a recent survey.

The poll from newspaper Hankook Ilbo and Hankook Research taken in early December interviewed a pool of 500 Generation Z respondents and compared their answers to those of 500 South Korean members of Generation X, or people born after 1968 and before 1980.

The Hankook Ilbo reported Friday Gen Z respondents were relatively apathetic about the notion of a unitary Korean people that binds Koreans of North and South.

When asked about their sense of “belonging” to transnational Koreans as an ethnic group, fewer Gen Z respondents responded positively than their Gen X counterparts, or about 13 percentage points lower, according to the report. Lack of identification with North Koreans was also greater among Gen Z respondents; only about 12 percent of them said they view North Korea in a positive light.

South Korean university student Kim Ji-su told interviewers the decades-long division of North and South contributes to her disinterest in unification.

“It is unfortunate, but the generation that directly experienced division is fading into history,” she said. “We’ve been living for decades separately, [so] we wonder whether unification is necessary.”

South Korean Gen Z respondents are also less likely to view unification as a requirement for peace; 37 percent of Gen Z respondents said it is necessary, compared to 47 percent of their Gen X counterparts.

Generation Z South Koreans also shared a greater sense of communality with other people they communicate with via social media platforms than older generations, according to the survey.

The poll results are being reported ahead of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Year’s speech on Tuesday, Money Today reported.

Moon has pursued diplomacy with Kim Jong Un despite North Korea’s rejection of talks.


Category: Korea

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