The U.S. has refused to relax economic sanctions against North Korea. Moon had previously pressed for the easing of such restrictions and sought to resume stalled inter-Korean economic projects such as a joint factory park and mountain resort. U.S. President Donald Trump opposed a request by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to resume economic cooperation with North Korea at a summit on June 30, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
More than half of South Korea’s university-age students now possess a positive view toward Korean unification. That’s according to a new poll conducted by the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee. The survey was conducted in early November, canvassing more than 1,000 university students nationwide. Unification of South and North Korea present many problem beyond ideological differences.
- Economic Consequences: South Korea’s GDP is many times multiplied over it’s North Korean Counterpart. The gross domestic product (GDP) of North Korea is estimated to be $40 billion in 2015, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, which has not given any updated GDPinformation since that date. In terms of GDP per capita, North Korea had a per capita GDP of $1,700. The South Korean FDP is estimated to be over 1.531 trillion USD (2017). If unification took place, the South Korean portion of the peninsula would be largely responsible for developing its Northern counterpart, although on a plus side, the North Koreans have a vast military and its own natural resources. In due time, it could supply the South Koreans with many benefits. Its a short term cost versus a long term investment.
- Political Involvement: If Korea returned to its former empire of the Joseon Kingdom, who would be its ruler? Kim Jong Un or Moon , Jae-In? This would arguably be the largest hurdle. The people of both North and South Korea would have to hold a new election in order to bring in a fresh new government. Would the government be capitalist or communist in nature? Would both leaders be willing to give up their own power in order to bring about unification?
- Foreign Influence: If you study the history of Korea (Joseon Kingdom), you will quickly learn that the North and South are merely consequences of the Cold War between Russia and the United States. After the end of WW2, Russia (then USSR) and the USA, divided Korean ownership into two nation states. Much like what happened in Germany and Vietnam. In a sense, the Korean struggle is a proxy war between the USA and communist Russia. Until the Korean people realize that they are essentially puppets of the old USSR and modern United States of America, they will fail to see the con-artistry that was placed upon their brethren. If the North and South unite, they will arguably be one of the most powerful nations in the world. This is contrary to the interests of China, Russia, and the United States. Many of these so called “peace-talks”, are merely for show, and the Koreans must be privy to this.
- Assimilation: Once unification happens, most Koreans will defect to the south since it is more economically sound than the north. How will the economy absorb this? How will the culture be affected on a local scale? How will society integrate them? Many reports already show North Koreans being discriminated against in the southern regions due to them being far behind in terms of education and physical health. How will North Korea’s military weapons and natural resources be combined with South Korea’s military power and natural resources?
- Cooperation from Foreign countries: China, Russia, and the United States all have an economic and political stake in the Korean Peninsula. All three countries must be on board with this assimilation. By combining both Northern and Southern provinces, the peninsula could theoretically obtain vast powers that could rival China, Russia, and the United States. Just as President Moon has recently attempted to create a joint business venture with Chairman Kim in the form of a joint factor and vacation resort transcending the DMZ, American President Donald Trump, blocked such a measure stating that North Korea must agree to reduce its nuclear program even more so. We must trust South Koreans in their attempts to negotiate with North Koreans. The United States, Russia, and China must all work together by taking a step back and allowing the people of both North and South Korea to negotiate their own affairs. Sometimes, doing less is akin to doing more. President Moon and Chairman Kim must take more initiative in negotiating the sovereignty of their kinship by relying less on foreign powers; specifically Russia, China, and the United States. Nobody knows the Korean people better than those who speak the language and live in the culture of the Korean Kingdom formerly known as “Joseon”. The Koreans of both the North and South have far more to gain than the Russians, Chinese, and Americans have to lose.
My grandfather, Sargent James Edwards Watkins of the US Army, fought in the Korean war, who is now deceased, would love to see a unified Korea. Economically, politically, and socially, it would not be an easy task, however, in the spirit of freedom and liberty, I believe that perhaps after 10 or 20 years post-unification, Korea could very well become the most powerful nation in east Asian and quite possible become beacon of hope and a positive example to all countries within close proximity within the region including the South-East Asian portion.
Through localization of alliances and communications within the east and southeast regions of Asia, I believe that the Korea peninsula can become a shining example of social and economical prosperity and responsible power. Militarily, North Korea is quite capable, socially and economically, South Korea has much to offer. If both regions were to successfully reunite, I truly believe that the region could become a leader in the United Nation Security Council and perhaps replace China as one of the “P-5” nations appointed to the UN on foreign affairs. The Korean peninsula is unique in the sense of its economic and military power. Under the right circumstances, I believe that this unification could create a new force in the region that could fundamentally preserve peace, prosperity, and human rights.
The sinful karma of the Cold War must be accounted for. The sins of the past, if healed correctly could restore the former honor of Korea as it once held prior to the Japanese invasion of 1910. North Koreans and South Koreans have one thing in common, they are Koreans! They speak the same language, and have the same blood coursing through their veins. They must no longer allow themselves to continue being the consequence of the Cold War between Russia and the USA. Until both the North and South Koreans can realize that they are merely puppets to foreign forces, they will be blinded by their own selfish ambitions and never truly realize the power they are capable of as a shared race of people.
To the people of Korea, I say to you, GOOD LUCK and 감사함니다 (thank you), for listening to the words of a humble Migukin (American), who truly loves, respects, and admires the resolve of the Kingdom of Korea. Please continue to fight for the sovereignty and prosperity of your land, absence of foreign influence or manipulation. Take charge of your bloodline and reclaim what is rightfully yours! Only the Korean people can solve the problem of the Korean people. The Americans, the Russians, and the Chinese are merely hurdles to overcome. In the end, it is up to the Korean people to realize the strength and beauty of a reunited culture that will be soon known as the restored Kingdom of Korea.
- Randell Stroud