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View Poll Results: Can North Korea and South Korea merge?
Yes 35 62.50%
No 21 37.50%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-27-2013, 05:55 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Most South Koreans don't want a unified Korea. They saw the massive expenditures that Germany had to sink into East Germany after unifications and imagine it would be far worse in their case, and they'd be right. They don't want to damage their quality of life, so they'd rather be separate. Now, if the North invaded and we totally kicked their butts, as we would, or if the North collapsed, then they'd likely reunify just for stability. But don't expect the South to be jumping at the chance.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Most South Koreans don't want a unified Korea. They saw the massive expenditures that Germany had to sink into East Germany after unifications and imagine it would be far worse in their case, and they'd be right. They don't want to damage their quality of life, so they'd rather be separate. Now, if the North invaded and we totally kicked their butts, as we would, or if the North collapsed, then they'd likely reunify just for stability. But don't expect the South to be jumping at the chance.
Isn't there a branch of thought that South Korea can learn from Germany managed unification and do a better, more gradual process?
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:03 AM
 
Location: American Expat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Isn't there a branch of thought that South Korea can learn from Germany managed unification and do a better, more gradual process?
The differences between East and West Germany weren't as stark as between North and South Korea. the East German economy imploded because the Communists forced factories to produce a certain number of good. Regardless if they could sell it or not. To keep unemployment very low, they made them hire people for all kinds of things. Of course that didn't work anymore after the Communists were kicked out and the unemployment rate shot up. Never mind the fact that they ruined a whole country. The Germans is what they could, imo. There's not much you can do "better". You don't have any choice. Either you pump a lot of money into the region or you don't. If you don't, it's gonna be a disaster.
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:21 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
The differences between East and West Germany weren't as stark as between North and South Korea. the East German economy imploded because the Communists forced factories to produce a certain number of good. Regardless if they could sell it or not. To keep unemployment very low, they made them hire people for all kinds of things. Of course that didn't work anymore after the Communists were kicked out and the unemployment rate shot up. Never mind the fact that they ruined a whole country. The Germans is what they could, imo. There's not much you can do "better". You don't have any choice. Either you pump a lot of money into the region or you don't. If you don't, it's gonna be a disaster.
You can transition slowly in terms of integration but meanwhile use the large population there as a form of cheap labor rather than having to outsource production to China or Southeast Asia. The stability of not having all that sword waving might be good in the long run.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Isn't there a branch of thought that South Korea can learn from Germany managed unification and do a better, more gradual process?
A slow-moving reunification wouldn't happen.

In East Germany, you didn't have rampant starvation, groupthink, cult of personality worshippers, a very uneducated population, or a military that was nearly as corrupt. After having spent so long in a deplorable state, the North Koreans would either flee en masse to the South or China. I would guarantee China would step up patrols to prevent people from flowing across the border, lest they have a destitute Korean minority that they have to deal with that would put a strain on local resources. The South would likely appeal to the international community for help.

In all likelihood, you'd see probably at least 10% of the population of the North simply up and leave. That's nearly 3.3 million people. The military would likely riot and steal the countryside villagers' belongings too as their apparatchik fell to pieces. Not to mention the UN would probably suffer casualties as local armed bandits raided them for supplies. It'd be like hell on earth and I wouldn't blame people for wanting to escape.

Freedom is a flavor that people, when deprived of it so long, will flock to very quickly. Germans living in the East over the course of a year managed to thumb their nose to moscow, kick out their army, enact their own reforms, tear down the wall, and managed to do so relatively peacefully because they were highly educated, had not as-good but still a decent infrastructure (relatively speaking), and similar cultural background. Put in analogous terms, it would be like the North and South after the US Civil War coming back together.

The North and the South of Korea, meanwhile, would be more like the North USA and Cambodia in the 1970s suddenly being forced together. Almost no commonality between the two after 50 years of idol worship and Orwellian communism in the North, though they do have a common ancestry.

So .... not saying it couldn't happen with massive international help. But a East/West Germany style of reunification is highly unlikely.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
A slow-moving reunification wouldn't happen.

In East Germany, you didn't have rampant starvation, groupthink, cult of personality worshippers, a very uneducated population, or a military that was nearly as corrupt. After having spent so long in a deplorable state, the North Koreans would either flee en masse to the South or China. I would guarantee China would step up patrols to prevent people from flowing across the border, lest they have a destitute Korean minority that they have to deal with that would put a strain on local resources. The South would likely appeal to the international community for help.

In all likelihood, you'd see probably at least 10% of the population of the North simply up and leave. That's nearly 3.3 million people. The military would likely riot and steal the countryside villagers' belongings too as their apparatchik fell to pieces. Not to mention the UN would probably suffer casualties as local armed bandits raided them for supplies. It'd be like hell on earth and I wouldn't blame people for wanting to escape.

Freedom is a flavor that people, when deprived of it so long, will flock to very quickly. Germans living in the East over the course of a year managed to thumb their nose to moscow, kick out their army, enact their own reforms, tear down the wall, and managed to do so relatively peacefully because they were highly educated, had not as-good but still a decent infrastructure (relatively speaking), and similar cultural background. Put in analogous terms, it would be like the North and South after the US Civil War coming back together.

The North and the South of Korea, meanwhile, would be more like the North USA and Cambodia in the 1970s suddenly being forced together. Almost no commonality between the two after 50 years of idol worship and Orwellian communism in the North, though they do have a common ancestry.

So .... not saying it couldn't happen with massive international help. But a East/West Germany style of reunification is highly unlikely.
Why would you give the option of fleeing en masse? China has pretty intense border patrols that don't allow it (they actually actively try to deport North Koreans). There's an actual physical barrier of the DMZ between North and South Korea. I'm pretty sure they'll stay there even if there was a sudden event leading to unification. One of the things about the taste of freedom is that if North Korea is as good at having domesticated the population as it claims, then it doesn't seem like the cry of freedom is going to make much sense to a lot of people.

I'm not saying they do it like Germany, but understand that the jubilation from unification that Germany had quickly got put to the test with the actual practical matters of trying to make two disparate systems join together. For the Koreas, it'll be an even larger disparity. It'd likely be an even slower integration of trying to get North Korea up to par simply because of the massive differences.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Does anyone know if the current South Korean government has any particular stance on this issue?

Can unification actually be an economic boon for what would be the former South Korea? Are there are actually substantial technologies that North Korea has that South Korea has not already developed?
The answer to your first question by many experts is that it is indeterminable. The reason being is that while North Korea has a lot of natural resources, it is also an incredibly poor country even by Least Developed Country standards (in fact it is poorer than most African countries) and it would take a lot of resources to bring the country up to even developing country standards. Of course, there is also the catch up effect to consider and the natural resources so it might even out but again it is indeterminable. Most sources however think that it will be a massive drain on South Korean resources.

The answer to your second question is mostly no. North Korean technology is primitive and much of it is 50-60s era technology. North Korea is considered to be ahead of South Korea in nuclear weapons and missiles technology. That said, the nuclear reactor that they have is very outdated. Remember nuclear weapons technology is close to 70 years old and even then the yields of North Korean nuclear weapons are barely equivalent to the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombs which means that their nuclear weapons technology isn't even on par with 40s era technology. The only reason why North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons are ahead of South Korea's is because South Korea isn't even allowed to develop nuclear weapons or long range missiles and even then if South Korea ever decides to develop those technologies, they would surpass North Korea in less than a decade.

If the Koreas ever unify, it would work best if South Korea puts North Korea under martial law and rule it with a governor (preferably military) appointed by the South Korean government (with absolutely no consent from North Korea IMO). They would have to mobilize the chaebols to begin exploiting the natural resources and build mines all over so that they can begin developing the country to produce the tax revenues to build up the country. It would be more or less colonialism but is there honestly any other way to unify the countries that would satisfy South Korea? I don't think so and I think a confederation with a dictatorial governor appointed by South Korea and under South Korean authority would be the best solution when it comes to unification.

I should mention that the confederation and military governor should only last until North Korea reaches some standards and then afterwards, full integration with democracy and etc should begin.

Last edited by X14Freak; 11-28-2013 at 08:06 PM.. Reason: Last Sentence to clarify.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:49 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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Originally Posted by X14Freak View Post
The answer to your first question by many experts is that it is indeterminable. The reason being is that while North Korea has a lot of natural resources, it is also an incredibly poor country even by Least Developed Country standards (in fact it is poorer than most African countries) and it would take a lot of resources to bring the country up to even developing country standards. Of course, there is also the catch up effect to consider and the natural resources so it might even out but again it is indeterminable. Most sources however think that it will be a massive drain on South Korean resources.

The answer to your second question is mostly no. North Korean technology is primitive and much of it is 50-60s era technology. North Korea is considered to be ahead of South Korea in nuclear weapons and missiles technology. That said, the nuclear reactor that they have is very outdated. Remember nuclear weapons technology is close to 70 years old and even then the yields of North Korean nuclear weapons are barely equivalent to the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombs which means that their nuclear weapons technology isn't even on par with 40s era technology. The only reason why North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons are ahead of South Korea's is because South Korea isn't even allowed to develop nuclear weapons or long range missiles and even then if South Korea ever decides to develop those technologies, they would surpass North Korea in less than a decade.

If the Koreas ever unify, it would work best if South Korea puts North Korea under martial law and rule it with a governor (preferably military) appointed by the South Korean government (with absolutely no consent from North Korea IMO). They would have to mobilize the chaebols to begin exploiting the natural resources and build mines all over so that they can begin developing the country to produce the tax revenues to build up the country. It would be more or less colonialism but is there honestly any other way to unify the countries that would satisfy South Korea? I don't think so and I think a confederation with a dictatorial governor appointed by South Korea and under South Korean authority would be the best solution when it comes to unification.

I should mention that the confederation and military governor should only last until North Korea reaches some standards and then afterwards, full integration with democracy and etc should begin.
I'm pretty much in the same line of thought. North Korea, were unification to happen under the aegis of the South Korean government, will have to be governed under a very different set of laws than the rest of Korea. The issue would be having an almost second-class citizen sort of thing for North Korea for quite a while before North Korea would even approach a real integration into a united Korea. It seems like the symbolic value and increased stability would go a long ways towards a greater long term prosperity for South Koreans, but who knows.

Germany has been able to manage the unification quite well despite so many reports of the cost of reunification (though different in many ways from a Korean unification). There are probably a lot of posters here who can give a much more detailed account, but it seems like Germany with its unification has still ended up as an amazingly productive and powerful country after the costs of unification and might very well have become better off from all of this. It seems to me that the sooner it's done the better because the disparity would only become worse as South Korea continues to rise and North Korea continues to be isolated.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
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SK President Park Gyeun-hye has been trying to get NK to shut down it's reactor and that hasn't happened. Their weapons program is still going strong so I don't think join them will happen anytime soon. Koreans just want safety first, and have them not be such a threat. They are just like fuel with a lit match hanging above it.

There is a joint work station in a NK industrial park it opens and closes depending on talks being productive or not. It's open now I think but it's strange anyway.
NK thinks it's equals with nuclear power and won't give it up unless countries like America give it up. I don't think taking over NK is even a close option right now. Just trying to get them to stop threatening is proving difficult.

If you just want to entertain yourselves with the thought here is a tv drama about it from South Korea. Very wishful thinking.
It's a good show but will never happen, it's just fantasy.
The King 2hearts - AsianWiki
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,143,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Does anyone know if the current South Korean government has any particular stance on this issue?

Can unification actually be an economic boon for what would be the former South Korea? Are there are actually substantial technologies that North Korea has that South Korea has not already developed?
Park Geun-hye wrote an editorial for Foreign Policy about her policy of Trustpolitik. I'd start there for the current SK gov't's stance.

But in general, the ROK's stance has been one of reassurance--no absorption; reconciliation first. Unification is more of a long-term goal.

And no, NK has no technology to give SK (except giant statue technology). The advantages will be from a reduction in security tensions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Isn't there a branch of thought that South Korea can learn from Germany managed unification and do a better, more gradual process?
That's the majority though. The Ministry of Unification extensively studied Germany and Israel for learning how to incorporate people of former Communist nations. But NK is so far from what E. Germany and the USSR were. It'll be much more costly to reunify.
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