The budget for the 2023 Ministry of Unification has been slightly reduced in line with the Yoon Seok-yeol administration’s sound fiscal policy. It is the first time in five years since 2018 that the Ministry of Unification’s budget has been reduced.
According to the ‘2023 Budget and Fund Plan’ released by the Ministry of Unification on the 30th, the budget of the Ministry of Unification for next year is KRW 218.7 billion in general accounting and KRW 1.233.4 trillion in the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund, for a total of KRW 1.452 trillion. This is a decrease of 50.3 billion won (about 3.3%) from this year (1.502 trillion won).
The general accounting budget was reduced by 12.2 billion won (about 5.3%) from this year’s (230.9 billion won), and among them, the budget for project expenses decreased by 11.4 billion won (about 6.8%) from 167.4 billion won this year to 156 billion won next year.
In response, the Ministry of Unification explained that the budget for resettlement support for North Korean refugees was reduced due to the decrease in North Korean defectors.
The budget was reduced as the standard for the number of North Korean refugees in the budget was reduced from 770 to 550. ▲ As the budget for the North Korean Refugee Support Foundation’s job success package support project (600 million won) has increased, the Ministry of Unification announced that it will promote more substantial settlement support services.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Unification’s Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund budget for next year is set at 1.23 trillion won. The 1 trillion won budget for the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund has been in operation for five years since 2019.
The implementation rate of the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund was low at 5.2% as of the end of July this year, but it was explained that it maintained a similar level to this year (1,271.4 billion won) in consideration of the current government’s ‘bold initiative’ and other proposals.
The project cost decreased by 38 billion won from 1.269 trillion won this year to 1.23 trillion won next year.
By sector, the budget for solving humanitarian issues such as cooperation for people’s livelihood accounted for the largest portion at 751 billion won (60.9%).
The Ministry of Unification said, “The Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund is organized with a focus on financial support of the ‘Bold Initiative’ and cooperation for the people’s livelihood in preparation for the post-corona era, while laying a new financial foundation for cooperatively promoting the human rights of North Koreans.” said
In fact, the Ministry of Unification raised the budget for health and medical cooperation from 95.459 billion won this year to 144.244 billion won, and significantly increased the budget for agriculture, forestry, and environmental cooperation from 329.495 billion won to 391.566 billion won.
In particular, the budget for the promotion of cooperative human rights of 1.45 billion won, which promotes the international community and inter-Korean technological cooperation projects to promote the human rights of North Koreans, was newly organized this year and attracted attention. It is interpreted as reflecting the will of the Yun Seok-yeol administration to actively deal with North Korean human rights issues.
Source: DailyNK by www.dailynk.com.
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