Bringing TRANSPARENCY and UNDERSTANDING to Korean Unification
A View Inside North Korea
Since 2016, CSIS has partnered with an organization that has a successful track record of conducting discrete and careful surveys in North Korea. Beyond Parallel has commissioned this organization to administer micro-survey questionnaires in provinces across North Korea. The questionnaires are carried out as natural in-person conversations between those conducting the interviews and the respondents. The individuals administering the questions are carefully trained to avoid asking leading questions or eliciting specific answers so as to protect both the integrity of the interview project and as well as safety of the people involved in the conversation.
Reports of ubiquitous celebrations of nuclear weapons accomplishments stand in stark contrast with a new micro-survey commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Korean citizens. Conducted throughout the summer and fall of 2017 with a cross-section of North Korean citizens, the vast majority of North Korean respondents did not have a positive attitude toward their country’s nuclear weapons program.
A study commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Koreans currently living inside the country found that 34 of 36 of respondents, or 94.4%, felt that unification is necessary. The majority of respondents, 44.1%, cited the shared ethnicity between North and South Korean’s as the main reason unification should occur.
On Unification: North Koreans’ Hope for the (Near) Future
34 of 36 of respondents, or 94.4%, felt that unification is necessary, a figure that is consistent with previous studies of North Korean defectors in South Korea. 21 of 36 North Korean respondents, or 58%, said unification will happen in their lifetime. When asked why unification is necessary, 15 of 34 respondents, or 44.1%, said it is necessary because Koreans have a shared ethnicity, 10 (or 29.4%) said it would increase economic growth, and 5 (or 14.7%) said unification is important to resolve the issue of separated families.
Paradise Evaporated: Escaping the No Income Trap in North Korea
In North Korea, the government controls the labor market and sets income levels. However, this study found that 26 of 36 North Korean respondents, or 72%, said they received almost all of their household income from unofficial markets. 21 of 30, or 70%, respondents who said the outside world had a greater influence on their lives than North Korean government decisions said they received almost all of their household income from markets.
Information and Its Consequences in North Korea
A study commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Koreans currently living inside the country reveals that 34 of the 36 respondents from all across the country have been exposed to foreign media. 33 of the 36 respondents, or 91.6 percent, watched or listened to foreign media as least once per month and 21 of those 36 used foreign media at least once per week.
The Merits of Conducting Surveys Inside North Korea
November 2, 2016, by Myong-Hyun Go. Conducting a public opinion survey in a totalitarian society is highly risky, and the risk is reflected on the very small sample size and the limited number of items that the researchers were able to ask in the survey.
Dissatisfaction But No Evidence Yet of A Pyongyang Spring
October 6, 2016, by Greg Scarlatoiu. The Beyond Parallel poll appears to have overcome two major hurdles faced by other North Korea surveys: an over-reliance on North Korean defectors and over-reliance on people from the border provinces with China, who continue to represent the vast majority of escapees.
North Korea Survey Reveals Three Core Trends
October 6, 2016, by DailyNK Editorial Team. Although North Koreans are often depicted as an oppressed yet obedient people, recent survey data tells a different story. Political attitudes and economic activities in the isolated state changed dramatically on the heels of a massive famine that struck in the mid-1990s.