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Uniting Korea

Hi! i am a south korean student. and how shoud we unite Korea? give ideas please

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  • Mar 31 2013: Reunification will occur when the economy of North Korea completely collapses, as it did in the Soviet Union.

    There is no telling how long that will take, but if the stories of starvation are an indication, I would guess that it might occur within the next five years.

    By the way, a state of war has existed between North and South Korea for over fifty years. The noise emanating from the North is primarily for internal consumption. Kim Jong-Un understands that a war will result in the destruction of his regime and his own death. His father was very good at obtaining "aid" from the west. Let us hope that Kim Jong-Un does not overestimate his position and skills in this very dangerous game.

    Silas Birdsell makes some very good points. A united Korea would be a source of instability in the region. So would a North Korea with nuclear weapons.
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    Mar 30 2013: Twenty odd years ago, the East Germans were seeing the Western side grow economically and politically. The east could see western TV. Hear western radio, knew of the progress being made on the other side. the North Koreans aren't so fortunate. The isolation, the lack of food and information, there is no reason for the Korean people to tear down their wall.
  • Mar 29 2013: In my humble opinion, based on conversations and snippets I have heard from South Koreans and the media, I can offer this. Perhaps it is not helpful.

    First, it can't be done by the UN or the United States or China. For the two Koreas to unite again it must be done by the Korean people and only by the Korean people.

    Second, you must be prepared to deal with direct conflict between the US and China if they are to unite. China does not want a united Korea on its border, so it will require assistance. But, China doesn't wan the US here either.

    Third, it will have to be done through some effort of the Korean people, not the leaders. But that is a long, hard road. Until some new authority takes charge in the North, who has ideas about actually uniting the two, don't expect it to happen soon.
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    Apr 8 2013: If Vietnam can do it, so can Korea. If Germany can do it, so can Korea. It starts with a conversation, an open and public conversation between the leaders. So people in South Korea must put pressure on their leader, Prime Minster or President, to begin an open dialogue with President Kim in North Korea. Korea can and must be united because the difference are ideological not humanitarian.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hi Ramon, I agree in principle. At some stage they may unite.

      FYI, vietnam is a result of the communists defeating the us militarily.

      Germany happened after the collaspse of communism in Europe and USSR.

      If the regime in north Korea collapses and the Chinese don't put in as new one, then reunification is possible.

      These things can happen fast, but the regime seems to have an iron grip at the moment.

      I had hoped that the foreign educated leader might be more progressive, but he seems willing to go further than his father.
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    Apr 7 2013: First should we? I understand that its something alot of families are suffering over with relatives trapped on one side or the other, and I know that the North is a to put it mildly unpleasant regime. However I have seen some wonderful things from S Korea, and I have to wonder as a American, if perhaps the close and constant threat of tyranny has given S Korea the will power to pursue democracy in such a more complete way than the US. I think that the only way that the north would rejoin the south would be thru war and war between 2 well mechanized modern armies is something to dread. On the third? fourth? hand? I could see the North being overthrown from within and perhaps the die hards retreating to some northern providence and holding out for another generation while the rest of the country just sort of put up with them till they died out.

    Okay though seriously? If you decided to end the Korean War and reunite the north with the south, the way to do it would be to present the USA and China with some sort of strong incentives to topple the North. The Chinese would have to not only not oppose the west but would have to aid the west in the regime change. Then I think you'd have to allow the north to be administered by the UN as a protectorate for awhile to insure that the reunion was done in a way that allowed the north to adjust to and not be taken advantage of by the S. Koreans or foreigners. A Chinese naval base in both north and south Korea, one on the east coast and one on the west would probably help win them over. For the USA? well we are always for sale, the north must have under developed rescources that some company in the US would want and Its the companies interests in the USA that you need to consider not the peoples.
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    Apr 6 2013: As I post this comment, the decision to unite Korea may have already been decided. I was in Korea in 1960 to see the aftermath of the war and went there again some 15 years later. I was totally impressed by the resilience of the people to reconstruct their lives in such a short period of time. If war comes again and there is reunification as an outcome as I believe there should be; the rebuild this time could be longer and harder.
    However, I do believe that the Korean peoples, who have had a long history of tragedy and a few bright moments of great success, will come together and be the great nation they can be.
  • Apr 5 2013: Hi, I am also a Korean myself. In order to united Korea, countries will definitely need a lot of money since North Korea is really poor. Definitely peaceful way is a best way to unite South and North Korea. However, is now a good time to unite? Think about all the people and money and other political/economical problems that can occur. Of Course it would be good if Korea is united into one. South Korea will be able to utilize North Korea's all natural resources in their benefit. However just remember there are some problems with uniting Korea into one.
    In order to unite, South Korea should be ready for the economic crisis that will come, and also have to be ready to overcome political problems.
  • Apr 4 2013: when the cold war was going on, The USSR turned N Korea in to a communist country, to counter balance any attack from N Korea, the Americans decided to influence and develop S Korea so that they can defend the US, so to really see what is going on is that the 2 enemy sides have influenced leaders of the 2 Koreas that they should continue counter balancing the world power in this manner.

    In any real outbreak of war it is natural from the North and the S Korea to destroy one another, while the bigger powers continue using other countries to defend themselves..... Apparently the world is and will always be split by the super power and the rising superpower at all times. Unless the leaders of the 2 Koreas realize this they shall never change. Both the countries are decoys for the 2 super powers.
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      Apr 4 2013: This might have been true 50 years ago, but the world has gone beyond the "domino theory" of containing communism. Ground wars are messy and so last millennium, now it is cyber warfare and economic control as the weapons of choice.
      • Apr 4 2013: You are right, but even then think about the possibility of a nuke war, chemical warfare, biological warfare... remember agent orange for Vietnam. I just hope that both N Korea and the South understand being human and change the course of everything.
  • Mar 30 2013: I don't see it happening Wonjun. Kim Jong-un seems intent on further dividing the two nations. China will fight the unification, the last thing they want is a prosperous, pro-America, democracy at their border, which a united Korea most certainly would be due to South Korea's cultural dominance and population. Lastly, unless North Korea takes deadly military action against South Korea I don't really see the benefits of a united Korea for the South Korean people. They currently are an extremely wealthy state that heavily influences global culture and economics. Why risk losing that in an armed conflict? In addition, a united Korea would still have to deal with threatening actions from neighbors. An expanding Korea will likely strengthen tensions with Japan over the disputed islands of Takeshima/Dokdo. And again China will hate to have a shining example of successful and wealthy democracy at its doorstep.

    In all reality I don't think a united Korea can, in the current balance of power in the region, exist. It seems more to be something that South Koreans and Americans like to fantasize about.
  • Lee WJ

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    Apr 12 2013: It is pretty difficult subject. Former president Kim Dae Joong(1998~2003) and
    Roh Mu Hyun(2003~2008) sent lots of money, food and things to save N.K people
    from starving to death, which is called Sunshine policy. But Kim Jung Il used it almost only
    for enhancing military power, not for his people. In addition, by auspice from South Korea
    during the two presidents, it gained enough moeny for nuclear test, leading to this
    threatening moment. Supplying without conditions would only make things worse.
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    Apr 7 2013: I'm in Seoul at the moment.

    Curious of your rationale behind desiring reunification. Some of my Korean friends worry about the costs and impacts of reunification and may prefer the status quo.

    Also suggest the current issues are more about the new leader wanting to create a crisis to rally the people around him, for domestic consumption, not jealousy, but who really knows.

    As to how to reunite the 2, I guess after 60 years of isolation and propaganda if you held a referendum most in the North might not want to reunite. China supports the regime so any un resolutions they don't like will fail, like Russia and Syria.

    A full on war would destroy the regime and perhaps lead to reunification and perhaps nuclear devestation. Otherwise I'm not sure.

    I doubt there will be any Arab spring type events in the North in the near term - the conditions are very different.
  • mary T

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    Apr 7 2013: Hi, Wonjun Jeong. I'm not sure I understand the purpose. What is the benefit to South Korea to uniting with North Korea? I get that it is vitally important to remove the threat of war. Is uniting of the Koreas the only way to achieve that goal? Does North Korea have anything within its borders or culture that would benefit South Korea?

    I think the best way to seduce someone into being on my side is to give gifts. Is it possible to smuggle or air drop food, clothing, books, etc. into the country, so that the people come to desire the things that South Korea has to give? Is North Korea open at all to allowing cultural exchanges?

    Penetrating the environment of an adversary, introducing pleasant attractions to divide the loyalties of the subordinates, and being open to learning what, if anything, would flow as a benefit from them to you -- those are the broad ideas I have.

    Best wishes, Mary
  • Apr 5 2013: I think there is a way for North Korea and South Korea to be united. Well as we know in the past these two countries was at war and haven't made a peace until know. The reason behind why these two countries is not at war with each other is because the two countries made a TRUCE (CEASE-FIRE).

    Why these North Koreans is planning on attacking South Koreans? Well based on my assumptions I could say that North Koreans is jealous of the success of the South Koeans. Well what will these North Koreans really gain by making a war? I mean all the big countries will fight agaisnt each other and maybe UNITED NATION will get disbanded. And even there will be a chance of World War 3.

    What I think here is that North Koreans should ask South Koreans the way of getting success, well I think that South Koreans will gladly help because by helping them it means there will be a relation between the two countries and it will be United faster or sooner, because when they are together then they can strengthen their country. Because basically speaking they are all brothers and sisters there. No need for bloodshed.

    So the point is I think North Korea should begin to accept their own mistakes and learn from the success one (but I don't think that this North Korea would do as I say) because as we can see that this KIM JONG UN is really proud of himself. It's like he thinks that he can take over the world. They will not solve a problem instead just making a new problems which happens to be big problems because there is a possibiities of World War 3 will happen. and I don't thik that will be a good idea.
  • Apr 5 2013: first you'll need trade. as people's lives improve, so will their desire for even better lives, some start speaking out, and change begins.
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    Apr 4 2013: I think that NK leadership saw an old Peter Sellers movie about a small nation attacking the US believing that the US would defeat them very quickly and send all kinds of aid as happened to the Axis powers in WW2.
    And this makes as much sense as any other rational presented here.

    I think that the NK believes that they are "protected" by China as China would not appreciate a potential highly successful united Korea on their border. I would propose that the US/South Korea enter a treaty with China that would guarantee a "Berlin Type Wall" between an united Korea and China should North Korea attack and fail. This could give China some assurance that they can maintain their "society" as they wish without corruption coming from an United Korea.

    United Korea would undergo some pains in the reunification as did Germany after their reunification. However, I see a great potential coming from this reunion as the capabilities of the Korean peoples to form a great nation has been demonstrated by the South Koreans after their devastation in the Korea War.
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    Apr 2 2013: The main problem is Kim! He is not a good leader to be honest. America is the most powerful country in the world and they are competing with such a superpower, I would advise Kim to meet South Korea's president and Obama. That is the only way to make peace. The army men should not take the side of Kim. The best way is to establish a good governing system in the country.
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    Mar 30 2013: As we speak[30 March, 2013] N.Korea has declared that a state of war exists with S. Korea. The question of reunification may be no longer relevant.
  • Mar 30 2013: Based on the most recent news from Kim Jong-Un, it appears he is bent on war. He has now threatened war with the South Korea, calling off the truce that has held violence at bay. He is threatening the U.S., Japan, and others. Sadly, I believe it is a matter of time before violence breaks out due to the threatening gestures made by the North. Most likely due to an accidental incident which will spark renewed violence and cause the deaths of thousands.

    That being said, the culture of Korea is still intact. The North has been fed a long line of rhetoric and propoganda which only supports their leader. Yet, people still flee the country leaving through China to escape. The Korean people could sort it out if power could be wrestled from Kim Jong-Un in a manner that was not from the outside forces at work.
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    Mar 30 2013: Perhaps the answer to your question is that we should not without understanding a few things first. If the Confederacy had won the right to secede from the Union the US would be divided today. The real question is what caused the division? If that divisive sentiment still prevails then perhaps peaceful reunification is not consistent with wisdom.
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      Mar 30 2013: The Korean people are divided only by a dictatorial regime, not a divisive sentiment.
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        Mar 30 2013: That being true the only way outsiders could help would be to unseat the dictator. That has not worked-out real well in recent memory. So I guess the answer to Wonjun's question is, "We can't afford another Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan. Sorry, you're on your own."
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    Mar 30 2013: After seventy years of divergent culture, is it practical to think of the Korean people as one anymore? Or should we think of them as two peoples that share the same peninsula? South Korea has emerged as one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, and North Korea is one of the poorest. How would you reconcile the two?
    • Apr 7 2013: Here's where a study of history can give an answer. The "Culture" that proto nations experience over long periods of time is much stronger than a mere 70 years of a foreign-imposed puppet state regime, which is what NK has always been. Consider that there were "Germans", inhabiting large areas and many different "States" for 2000 years before there was any German "Nation".. Poverty or wealth has little to do with it. look at the history of Poland.
      NK leadership has nothing at all like the popularity that the Viet Minh anti-French coalition had. I was in Korea at the time that the NK regime gave a try at the classic "guerilla war" stragey that Chairman Mao's Instruction book laid out. In Korea, it was a total flop, unlike Vietnam where it was a total success.
      We might consider the example of post WW2 divided Germany as a hopeful model. Avoiding unification by war, it was achieved bloodlessly when the S.U. fell apart. Of course, there are still divergent opinions between the 2 Germanys, but what country doesn't have such problems? Certainly the US does.( Hopefully , it's "all in the family". I do believe that Divorce should be an option , rather than war, however)
      I don't see that a divided Korea is so great for China. A united prosperous Korea would relleve them from the nightmare of all those starving NK "illegal immigrants" showing up.