More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors in the South are women, and about half of women, according to a survey, keep in touch with family in North Korea despite a statewide crackdown on wired technology. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- North Korea's crackdown on communication with the outside world has not stopped women defectors in the South from contacting the children they left behind.
A study conducted by South Korea's Gyeonggido Family and Women Research Institute shows more than 57 percent of women defectors are in contact with their children and 47 percent secretly send money or goods from the South to family members, Seoul Shinmun reported Monday.
The results are from a survey, conducted between Aug. 12 and Sept. 3, of 400 North Korean women in the South, where more than 80 percent of defectors are women.
About 39 percent of those surveyed said they had left children behind in North Korea, and within that group about 57 percent said they had been in touch with family at least once in the last three years.
Those who had contacted their families at least 10 times made up nearly 8 percent of that sub-group.
About 47 percent of women with children said they have been able to transfer funds or goods to their North Korean families. Within that group, more than 35 percent said they have sent at least $5,100 in funds to the North. On average in the last three years the group was able to send more than $4,300 in cross-border money transfers.
Among women with children, more than 62 percent said they have plans to bring their children to South Korea.
Women who said they do not keep in touch with their children in the North gave a variety of response as reasons. About 43 percent of women in the group said it's because they have no way of contacting family, more than 28 percent said they fear state reprisal, and nearly 18 percent said they don't have the economic means to make contact.
Another 31 percent of respondents with children said their sons and daughters arrived in the South with them, but for economic reasons live separately, according to the study.