SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- More than half of North Korean teenage defectors viewed South Korean movies and dramas when they were in the communist country, a survey said Monday.
According to the survey conducted last month by Yoon Sun-hee, a professor for Hanyang University, 79 of 140 students, or 56 percent, in Hangyeore Middle and High School said they watched South Korean films and TV programs in North Korea.
North Korea reportedly strictly bans its people from viewing South Korean broadcasts and films.
Hangyeore, located in Anseong, 77 kilometers south of Seoul, is a school for North Korean defectors founded in 2006.
Among the respondents, 57 students said they saw South Korean movies on DVD and 43 claimed to have watched videotaped dramas, while 15 watched broadcasts on TV, the survey showed.
It did not say how the students had obtained the South Korean DVDs and videos, or gained access to the broadcasts.
Forty students said they could see the South Korean programs whenever they wanted and five watched them everyday, when asked how often they had seen the banned films.
The survey also showed that 21 teenagers said they had watched the programs once a month, six said once a year, while seven students experienced the South Korean material only once during their lifetimes in North Korea.
According to the survey, most of them said South Korean films and dramas were "interesting," although they had to view them secretly in the reclusive country.
"It's hard to make generalizations but the results are surprising," said Prof. Yoon. "The result itself indicates that North Korea is more open than we expected."
"The study shows that North Korean teenagers tend to protest against the regime and also enjoy their lives," she added.
Some 125 respondents were living near the North Korea-China border, while 15 others were living closer inland, including Pyongyang.
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