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“The status quo of the Korean Peninsula won’t last 10 years,” say Harvard students
보스톤코리아  2011-07-25, 15:43:57   
MyongSool Chang
Translated by SeungYoun Woo


The Harvard students predicted that there will be a good chance of a change, which breaks the status quo of the Korean Peninsula, in 5 to 10 years. Most of the students assumed that a change will occur in 20 years but Korean reunification will be possible 50 years from now. North and South Korea are currently divided and they are technically at war.

Young-Eun Yang, a fellow at Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Soon-Man Hong from Harvard Kennedy School carried out a survey, targeting 500 students at Harvard. 40% of the students said a change will occur in 5-10 years and 32% of them said it will occur in 10-20 years. This was the first time a public opinion poll of Harvard students was taken about reunification and issues about North and South Korea.

62% of the students said Korean reunification will occur in 50 years, thinking that the change of the Korean Peninsula will not be necessarily result in reunification. On the other hand, 16% think the reunification will occur in 10 years, and that it will be a direct result of the change of situation in Korea.

More graduate students than undergraduates believed that the reunification would take place in 10 years: 25 %, of graduate students compared to 8% of undergraduates (8%), who do not know much about the situation in Korea. 22% of Chinese students agreed that the reunification would occur in 10 years, showing the highest percentage. However 20% of Japanese students believed that the reunification is still impossible in the future.

Most of the students agreed that although it will take time, the reunification should be completed when the right time comes. 22% of the graduate students said the sooner the better.
42 % of the students said the most ideal door-open [I’m not sure what you mean by door-open] of North Korea will depend on the decision of leaders like Gorbachev. However, for the most realistic door open 42% said it will occur by outside pressure from other countries, 26% said by coup, and 18% said by riots.

For the most ideal scenario of Korean reunification, more than half of the students (54%) said it will occur by South Korea’s initiative but 46% of them said by it will depend on the separate regional zones of jurisdiction under an overarching government of North and South Korea. The most Chinese students (71%) from the communist country supported a joint government of North and South Korea; however, 57% of American students supported South Korea’s lead and 46% of them supported North Korea’s lead.
The majority of Harvard students (88%) agreed that North Korea should be open her door and a considerable number of them (79%) thought about Korean reunification. 74% agreed with the appropriateness of the reunification.

When Harvard students were asked to rate their feelings about North Korea on a scale from one to ten (with ten being most positive), their view of North Korea was 2.5 out of 10, which was very negative. Japanese students viewed North Korea most negatively (1.7). Chinese students and students from other countries had a relatively positive view but did not reach 3.

Young-Eun Yang explained that the survey is very reliable, considering that half of the 500 students are studying political science, international relations, policy, and science of public administration (Harvard Kennedy School); thus, they are relatively very knowledgeable about issues between North and South Korea.

Also, the survey was conducted with current Harvard undergraduates, graduates and foreign scholars from fellow programs. There were 252 graduate students and 248 undergraduates.
However, only 80% of the students said the Korean Peninsula is located in Northeast Asia. Surprisingly, even some Chinese (11%) and Japanese students (20%) at Harvard gave the shocking answer that the peninsula is located in Southeast Asia.

ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
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