Korean Unification: Planning for the Long Term
The Korea Chair carries out a number of initiatives and projects calling upon a wide variety of experts from different disciplines and regions to explore the various longer-term transitional issues that will arise from unification of the Korean peninsula. The Chair also partners with a number of groups to organize international conferences and forums to bring greater transparency and understanding to issues associated with planning for the unification of the Korean peninsula.
The Korea Project: Planning for the Long Term
Starting in 2010 through 2014, CSIS undertook a groundbreaking initiative on Korean unification in cooperation with the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California (USC). The future integration of the peninsula poses one of the greatest challenges as well as opportunities for the United States, Korea, and Asia.
Through generous support from the Korea Foundation, CSIS and USC examined the longer-term problems of Korean peninsula integration. Although a great deal of study has been devoted to contingency and near-term crisis planning for a potential collapse, this project focused on the yet unstudied longer-term economic, political, and human security issues.
Traditionally viewed in military terms, the collapse of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the subsequent unification of the Korean peninsula will raise issues of environmental degradation, public health and social dislocation, as well as legal and judicial issues. Such issues will affect not only South Korea but also surrounding countries such as China, Russia, Japan, and the United States. This research project was designed to bring together a wide variety of experts from different disciplines to explore the various longer-term transitional issues that will arise from unification of the Korean peninsula creating a network linking with functional experts and Korea scholars to develop path-breaking analysis of problems and solutions to integration of the Korean peninsula.
CSIS and USC took a multifaceted approach to developing avenues for political and technical solutions to these issues at the national, regional, and international levels. The principal investigators for the Korea Project were Dr. Victor Cha, senior advisor and holder of the Korea Chair at CSIS, and Dr. David Kang, director of Korean Studies Institute at USC.