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article imageOver half of population feel unsafe living in South Korea

By Karen Graham     Nov 27, 2014 in World
A biennial survey released on Thursday in South Korea revealed that over half the population does not feel safe living in their own country. The most cited reason given for people's feelings of insecurity was man-made disasters.
Of the 37,000 people surveyed, 50.9 percent said they were worried about the lack of adequate safety measures in the country. citing the number of building collapses, questionable safety conditions, and the April ferry sinking that left 300 dead.
The survey this year showed a marked increase in the concerns of people over the growing lack of safety measures. In 2012, only 37 percent of those people polled expressed concerns over safety. Only 9.5 percent of people felt safe living in South Korea, down from 13.7 percent in 2012.
The biggest safety concerns cited by 51.3 percent of those polled were building collapses, explosions and man-made disasters. The figure two years ago, only 21.3 percent. A spokeswoman for the agency conducting the survey said, "We had more deadly accidents than usual this year, which seems to be reflected in this survey."
A nuclear crisis involving North Korea is also preying on many people's minds. Almost 52 percent of South Koreans worry about a war erupting with their northern neighbor. Computer hacking and the loss of personal information is a great concern, as it is all around the world. Over 63 percent of people surveyed are very worried about the loss of personal information due to hacking.
It has taken decades for South Korea to attain what some observers are calling western living standards. Since the end of the Korean War, South Korea has accomplished the near impossible, pulling itself up by the boot-straps from economic ruin and military rule to become a thriving democracy.
Over the years, confidence in their ability to succeed has made South Korea the 15th largest economy in the world, and the world's largest shipbuilder. The educational system is one of the world's best, churning out diligent and well-versed students. But with all their successes, many people feel that in the rush to wealth, the safety of the infrastructure and the people has been forgotten.
While South Korea has been focusing on the future, it is also going to need to pay more attention to better emergency training and better control of building codes, regulations and safety management. Only then will people begin to feel safe.
More about South Korea, biennial survey, Safety concerns, progress and success, Obsession
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