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World Ch. Schedule : WED 09:05 KST

* Date : 2017-02-15

Young men looking for ways to collaborate than to stand alone
Youth unemployment is a serious problem not only in Korea, but across the globe.
IAccording to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the global youth unemployment rate in 2016 was 13.1%. Even those with a job feel insecure because of the job's instability and poor work environment while the unemployed are faced with a grim reality. They don't know which direction to head so they follow other people's formula for success and devote their lives to it. However, there are young people who have joined hands to find a way to survive together and share risks. They are looking for different ways to live.

Bringing Youthful Waves to a Traditional Market
Ganghwado Island in Incheon is well known for its saeujeot (salted shrimp) and herring. And on the island is the Pungmul Market, a traditional market popular among locals and tourist alike. Four years ago, a group of young men opened a brick oven pizza joint at the market. They have nothing in common with each other. Kim To-il worked in the tourism industry, Shin Hui-seung was a rapper, Yu Myeong-sang was a culture planner, and Jo Seong-hyon sold eggs for his living. However, they share a common goal: to band together and do what they are passionate about. By collaborating with each other, they can accomplish their goals while lessening risks. And their first business together became the pizza joint under their group name, Cheongpung Market. Of course, they had no experience with making pizza. They made it their goal to last 3 months at first, then 6, and eventually, 4 years have passed since. Why did they choose Ganghwado Island over a big city? It's because they wanted to spend time with other young people and live life instead of chasing after money and fame. They are Cheongpung Market, determined to bring youthful waves to the traditional market.

Four young men's daring challenge
It was 2013 when the four men decided to work together. It's been 4 years, but they still can't say they have fully settled down. To be honest, they don't make much profit through the pizza joint. That's why they've recently opened two new businesses, a guest house and a beer bar, and they have been operating them in groups of twos. They work and live together for their shared goals. However, as their business grow, so do their conflicts. They hold weekly meetings and despite the conflicts, they say they've learned a lot about each other.
It's difficult to survive in this world alone. But Cheongpung Market members' decision was different. They decided to find their own place. It might take longer to achieve their goals, but they will rely on each other and make it to the end.

"I Want to Become a Bridge for Young North Korean Defectors."
In 1999, 17-year-old Park Joseph risked his life to escape from North Korea. He went to China at first then found refuge in Korea in 2004. He had no one but himself to depend on. He lived his life to the fullest each day believing that he could accomplish anything if he could flee North Korea, and his efforts rewarded him with a stable life.
However, he didn't stop there. He set out to help other young North Korean defectors. Together, they built a cafe named Yovel where both North and South Korean youth can work together. The decision to open a cafe came from the fact that 6 out of 10 North Korean defectors settle in big cities and they need ways to assimilate into city life. Yovel is like a stone bridge that helps North Korean defectors who have not yet adapted to their new environment develop economic independence.

Building a Place of Unity for North and South Korean Youth
Seoul is a very different place from where North Korean defectors had lived. In addition, working at a service-related industry such as a cafe can be a big stress for North Korean defectord. Park Joseph thought that providing a place to meet others would help them adapt, but he had to find another way to help them. And he came up with the idea of establishing an orchard or a farm. Many North Koreans are already used to farming. They can organically grow apples and pears, which cafe Yovel can use.
Upon hearing their story, some people are offering to help by leasing their land. Recently, Joseph and North Korean defector Kim Yeong-nam took a trip to Miryang to look at an orchard. There, Joseph made it his goal to build a place of unity where North Korean defectors can become self-reliant and befriend South Korean workers as well. It's easy to just take care of oneself in this fiercely competitive world, but there are young people out there who dream of co-existence rather than competition.

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