The Challenges of a Post-Reunification Korea: Lessons from Reconciled Civil Conflicts
December 15, 2010
The unhappy division of Korea is unique in many respects. When Korea contemplates reunification, however, it is necessary to look for family resemblances, drawn from history, that alert Korea to the challenges of unification that lie ahead. But which models and which historical cases provide relevant guidance? Does reunification with the North fundamentally present the challenge of transforming a closed, militant, industrial, pre-modern society into an open, democratic, knowledge-based, post-modern society? Does re-integration present problems most akin to those associated with rebuilding a weak or failed state? Or, is Korean reunification analogous to other civil conflicts seeking reconciliation and reconstruction after a long period of violence and estrangement?