Five Theories of Unification

Korea Chair Platform

Unification - a perennial topic of discussion among political scientists - has now become an interest of investors. Undeniably this phenomenon is a reflection or outgrowth of the Park Geun-hye government’s labeling of “unification bonanza” or grand opportunity or jackpot in her famous speech in Dresden, Germany. The launch of the preparatory committee for unification this week is a very significant step after the Dresden speech.

The concept or “theory” of unification has taken many forms in Korea.

I count five. Each one is distinct, and has been motivated by a combination of ideology and real-world events. They are all important to remember. Without one, the others could have never emerged.

*An earlier version of this article first appeared on July 22, 2014 in Joongang Ilbo, available online at


The Korea Platform is made possible by the generous support of Samsung Electronics America.

Victor Cha
Senior Vice President for Asia and Korea Chair