Sunday, June 24, 2007

Korean War survey

Tomorrow (June 25) is the 57th anniversary of the Korean War. I read an article about a survey done by Chosun Daily (Chosun Ilbo – one of the major SK newspapers) asked 1005 post-war generation South Korean adults, “Do you know when the Korean War broke out.” 61.8% gave the right answer (1950), 38.2% answered “don’t know,” or answered wrong.
The result varied according to the different age groups. Less than half of the 20s (46.8%) gave the right answer (53.2% answered wrong). On the other hand, 62.8% of the 30s, and 75.5% of the 40s answered correctly.

Question about the characteristic of Korean War:
52.3% answered “It was North Korean invasion to the South.” (21.2% higher than 2002 survey, which was only 31.2% - what a surprise!)
It was quite astonishing that only about half of the South Korean (even though the result does not necessarily represent the opinion of total SK population) believe that it was started by North’s attack.

Question about the likelihood of another North Korean invasion:
51.2% answered “there is possibility.” (in 2002, 32.8%) while
45% answered “it is not likely.” (in 2002, 57.9%)

“If the war brake out in Korea while you are abroad, would you go back to Korea?”
48.7% answered “Yes.”
45% answered “No.” (I think they are too honest.)


rfishel said...

I think this is a good survey for Americans to look at because sometimes it seems like we do not think that there are different opinions within other countries. In the case of SK, a lot of us use broad terms such as "South Koreans think x," often forgetting that, just like in the United States, people do not all think the same.

I was also sort of surprised with some of the statistics and how so many Koreans do not know basic facts about the Korean War. We often make fun of Americans for not knowing simple historical facts, but I suppose it is not a unique phenomenon.

Min said...

I actually read similar survey - done about Korean War - couple of weeks ago. Anyhow, being the most conservative news agency in Korea, I would suspect that Chosun Ilbo might somehow twisted the questions so that result would look good. But I guess reality of 21st century South Korean's view on the history as well as their knowledge of the past is well captured in the survey.

Though, acutally I'm surprised, I mean how can they NOT know the dates for when war broke out?
(when think about the vigorous education in Korea)

Sang said...

it's sad that people don't really put that much emphasis on learning our own history.

all they care about is their TOEIC and TOEFL scores.

Min said...

I guess it is quite pathetic reality of South Korea, though I understandable to some extent but one cannot help but to ask - "so much for getting perfect score in foreign language when doesn't even know own country's most basic history"

I guess we cannot escape the criticism of North Korea when such results explains itself about modern South Korea -