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Hyundai foundation offers 2 bil won to help N. Korean defectors

All Headlines 16:43 May 03, 2012

SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- A Hyundai foundation pledged Thursday to give 2 billion won (US$1.7 million) to help North Korean defectors better adjust to life in South Korea, the Unification Ministry said.

The Hyundai Motor Chung Mong-koo Foundation inked the deal with the North Korean Refugees Foundation for three years of financial assistance for defectors, according to the ministry.

The aid is to be used to hire three medical personnel, including a psychiatrist, to help treat North Korean defectors in a government-run resettlement center.

The ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the money will also be used to offer vocational courses and to build a special school tailored to young North Korean defectors.

The Hyundai foundation is named after Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Co., the world's fifth-largest automaker along with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp.

South Korea is home to more than 23,500 North Korean defectors as a constant stream of North Koreans has fled their communist homeland to try to avoid chronic food shortages and harsh political oppression.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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