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For foreigners in Korea, quality of life hasn't kept pace with population growth Updated: 2014-07-10 07:01:49 KST

For foreigners in Korea, quality of life hasn't kept pace with population growth

This district, which sits at the heart of the industrial city of Ansan, is known as the "Borderless Village."
Take one glimpse down the street, and the signs in different languages provide no indication that you're in Korea.

"Southeast Asian workers arrived here in the mid-1990s to seek their fortunes in local factories, giving birth to this bustling multicultural village."

The city promotes itself as foreigner friendly, but area residents say that's not necessarily the whole story.

"So many people and merchants crowd the streets on the weekends that it takes ten times longer to get anywhere. The city made the streets pretty, but there is nothing being done to take care of them."

Jung says the government, which designated Ansan as a multi-ethnic city, has now turned its back on the migrant population and refuses to face the reality of their living situation.
To make matters worse, the local community service center says that foreigners are leaving trash bags in the streets, prompting loads of odor complaints.

"The lack of government support has raised the concern that the area could eventually turn into a slum and become a place that the local Koreans avoid entirely."

With the continued inflow of foreign residents, two-thirds of the over 16-thousand residents here are now non-Korean.
The people that helped build this city deserve better support.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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