February 25, 2024

Invest in N.Korea now to invest in unification later

More than supporting a dreadful regime, such programs teach skills Northerners will need to know

When we discuss measures that can help Korean society deal with the tremendous challenges that unification is likely to present, we have to keep in mind a few things.

First, there is no way to have a cheap and painless unification of the two Koreas. The first few post-unification months are likely to be shrouded by nationalist euphoria, but very soon grave problems will begin to pop up. In the long run, unification might indeed be good for the Land of the Morning Calm, but this is true only so long as we are talking really long-term (perhaps decades). No amount of preparation will produce a painless process, and the only goal we can realistically have is to mitigate the worst of it, lessening the social and economic shocks.