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Debates Forum

  1. 04 Aug '10 11:42
    In the event of the collapse of the Communist regime in North Korea, would reunification be in the interests of South Korea? Could it afford to absorb an impoverished failed state? Would its geopolitical position be strengthened by the territorial gains? Would it lead to conflict with China?
  2. 04 Aug '10 11:44 / 1 edit
    I'm sure that if Germany was able to do it, Korea can too. As for conflict with China, I'm sure their economic gains would trump any ideological objections.

    On a side note, South Korea has a large, expensive army which uses a mandatory and very expensive 2-year conscription. If Korea is reunited, the size of the military can be drastically cut, which would save a lot of money.
  3. 04 Aug '10 12:00
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    In the event of the collapse of the Communist regime in North Korea, would reunification be in the interests of South Korea? Could it afford to absorb an impoverished failed state? Would its geopolitical position be strengthened by the territorial gains? Would it lead to conflict with China?
    What would be the alternative? Let the poor bastard die?

    Fill the void with a sound governement and the former North Koreans will prosper.
    Which governement? The one in Seul, of course.

    I think the future is unavoidable. Korea will reunite, eventually.
  4. 04 Aug '10 12:01
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I'm sure that if Germany was able to do it, Korea can too. As for conflict with China, I'm sure their economic gains would trump any ideological objections.
    West Germany was richer than South Korea is, and its population was at least three times greater than that of East Germany, whereas South Korea's population is only twice that of the North. Nevertheless, the German economy has arguably never recovered from reunification. Could South Korea really cope with the economic costs?
  5. 04 Aug '10 12:16
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    What would be the alternative? Let the poor bastard die?

    Fill the void with a sound governement and the former North Koreans will prosper.
    Which governement? The one in Seul, of course.

    I think the future is unavoidable. Korea will reunite, eventually.
    The alternative would be for North and South Korea to remain as two separate states. South Korea, Japan, and other international donors would provide funding for aid and support the establishment of a democratic government in the North, and to smooth the transition to a market economy. Opportunities could be provided for North Koreans to study in South Korean universities; professional training could be arranged; trading agreements could be concluded to allow North Korean raw materials to be exported for manufacturing industry in the South. These policies might be cheaper and more practical than reunification.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    04 Aug '10 13:06
    Why would South Korea want to share its hard earned wealth with its bête noire of many decades? If NK becomes a democracy, tosses Communism under the bus where it belongs and commences economic growth and sustains it for a decade, then SK should consider re-unification, even if it's still somewhat ahead of NK at the time. But in the interim it would be an entirely one way street. NK made its bed; now lie in it. You want to help them with some humanitarian aid, that's another matter, but to give them full and equal rights of citizenship? Why would SK agree to that?
  7. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    04 Aug '10 13:12
    Originally posted by sh76
    Why would South Korea want to share its hard earned wealth with its bête noire of many decades? If NK becomes a democracy, tosses Communism under the bus where it belongs and commences economic growth and sustains it for a decade, then SK should consider re-unification, even if it's still somewhat ahead of NK at the time. But in the interim it would be an entir ...[text shortened]... her matter, but to give them full and equal rights of citizenship? Why would SK agree to that?
    Because they have a pretty long common history and were divided artificially after WWII?
  8. 04 Aug '10 13:27
    Originally posted by sh76
    NK made its bed; now lie in it.
    The North Koreans people are ruled by the North Korean governement in a dictatorship. The North Koreans who made its bed isn't the North Korean population, it's their unelected governement. Why should the people lie in an ill-made bed, when the bed-makers are gone?

    The Korean people is one people, with the same culture, language, history. They want to be united. In the long run they will.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    04 Aug '10 13:28
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Because they have a pretty long common history and were divided artificially after WWII?
    If you and your brother were forcibly separated and you built a wealthy portfolio through 4 decades of hard work and he was starving and you were finally re-united, no doubt you'd want to help him; but would you agree to give him half your wealth?
  10. 04 Aug '10 13:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    If you and your brother were forcibly separated and you built a wealthy portfolio through 4 decades of hard work and he was starving and you were finally re-united, no doubt you'd want to help him; but would you agree to give him half your wealth?
    If I and my brother went different paths. When we meet again and I find him hungry - don't I feed him? Don't I give him a bed? Don't I care for him?
  11. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    04 Aug '10 13:33
    Originally posted by sh76
    If you and your brother were forcibly separated and you built a wealthy portfolio through 4 decades of hard work and he was starving and you were finally re-united, no doubt you'd want to help him; but would you agree to give him half your wealth?
    Why half the wealth? That sounds quite arbitrary and exaggerated if we look at other past reunifications.
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Aug '10 13:35
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    The North Koreans people are ruled by the North Korean governement in a dictatorship. The North Koreans who made its bed isn't the North Korean population, it's their unelected governement. Why should the people lie in an ill-made bed, when the bed-makers are gone?

    The Korean people is one people, with the same culture, language, history. They want to be united. In the long run they will.
    I wonder how many more people will starve in the north before that happens? Whole generations are now malnourished and that makes for weaker brains as well as bodies. An almost intractable problem even if the north caves in.

    Would China intercede if the north collapsed under it's own weight? Try to prop it up? Take over militarily? Would the west come to NK's aid if that happened? Would it be worth the fight?

    Worse case, I would think a Chinese communist regime in NK would be more stable than what we have there now. The Chinese at least realize they have to deal more or less peaceably with the rest of the world.

    As example, the west is doing nothing to stop the Chinese from ruling Tibet and the Chinese are doing nothing to make things worse on the border with the former Soviet empire.
  13. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    04 Aug '10 13:38
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I wonder how many more people will starve in the north before that happens? Whole generations are now malnourished and that makes for weaker brains as well as bodies. An almost intractable problem even if the north caves in.

    Would China intercede if the north collapsed under it's own weight? Try to prop it up? Take over militarily? Would the west come to ...[text shortened]... he Chinese are doing nothing to make things worse on the border with the former Soviet empire.
    So what do you think the "west" should do?

    The "west" should support change but not force it.
  14. 04 Aug '10 13:39
    It seems likely that the rest of the world would provide a generous aid package to help North Korea clean up the damage wrought by the tyrannical regimes it has suffered under, if only to prevent North Korea from falling under China's sphere of influence.

    And I would expect South Korea to be especially generous in helping its brethren. Perhaps not a "redistribution" but most likely things like a strong investment in North Korea's infrastructure, education, healthcare etc - and many businesses might consider North Korea's coastal location and proximity to Japan to be an attractive opportunity for investment that had been closed under the Communists.
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    04 Aug '10 13:47
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Why half the wealth? That sounds quite arbitrary and exaggerated if we look at other past reunifications.
    Re-unification means the NK citizens have completely equal rights to everything. Over a short period of time, one would expect the wealth distribution to even out.