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Not China, Not Japan, Not North Korea

What is the real concern of average South Koreans?

August 18, 2013

Credit: The Globalist (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. Much of the world assumes that South Korea’s biggest challenge is North Korea’s volatile leader, Kim Jong Un.

2. South Koreans are far more concerned about finding good jobs and staying economically competitive with its biggest neighbor to the north, China.

3. They are also readily aware of Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, amidst Prime Minister Abe’s attempts to drive down the value of the yen.

4. 60 years after the Korean war ended, just 15% of Southerners said N. Korea was a priority in a Feb. 2013 survey by Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

5. Their top concerns were:

  • reducing household debt, in which South Korea ranks eighth in the world when measured against disposable income
  • lowering the 8.4% youth jobless rate, and
  • remaining in the middle class.

From South Korean President Park Geun-hye has a start-up plan for robust economic growth by Yoolim Lee (Washington Post)




Biggest worries for S. Koreans? Not nukes. Household debt, youth jobs, & middle class stability.