Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A special school for North Korean defectors in Seoul is in limbo as it faces opposition from residents who do not want the institution in their neighborhood.
Students at Yeomyeong school must move to a new location in two years, when the contract expires for their current building, South Korean television network MBC reported Wednesday.
The school was pushing forward with plans to break ground at Eunpyeong New Town in northern Seoul, but local residents say they are against the idea, according to the report.
Opponents say the 23,067 square feet of land reserved for the school should be used to build amenities for local residents.
Kim Yong-gwan, a resident, told MBC he is opposed to the school.
"The site could be used by our children. Why would anyone support an order commanding us to relinquish it for children of people outside our community?" Kim said.
An Eunpyeong district representative said his office has already received 106 complaints about the school.
Pak Nu-ri, a defector and student at Yeomyeong, said she is disappointed by the news.
"I was really sad to hear about the objections," she said. "Because, wouldn't there be a reason for their opposition?"
Yeomyeong school opened in 2004, and has graduated well-known defectors including Choi Kwang-hyouk, an ice hockey player, and Kang Chun-hyok, a rapper, according to MBC.
The school is coping with new challenges at a time when defectors continue to face hurdles in adjustment.
Local television network EBS reported Tuesday the number of half-North Korean, half-Chinese teenagers and youth have surpassed their North Korea-born counterparts at a ratio of 6 to 4.
The number of defectors who have never set foot in the North is growing. They are sometimes not included in state welfare programs because of their method of entry.
Half-North Korean children who are admitted to South Korea after their parents have been granted South Korean citizenship do not go through Hanawon, the South Korean resettlement support center. They "slip through the cracks" of the system, according to the report.