Too Many Costs for Korean Reunification

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published four books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                                 Korean unification is a nice and lofty goal, but there are as too many
experts will say problems of trying it at present or in the near future. The obvious difference is in the
economic aspect between North and South Korea. South Korea’s economy is 36.7 times as large
as North Korea’s, and it has an extremely advanced infrastructure. North Korea is one of the
poorest countries on earth, and it is believed that as much as 40 percent of its population is
malnourished or outright starving. Even with massive aid from China, the situation is dire. For
the most part North Korea is worse off than East Germany was before unification with West
Germany. To even come close to bringing North Korea up to the standards of South Korea, it
would take decades and even then it will probably never equal the wealth and technological
advancements South Korea has achieved. A good part of this is due to what the North Korean
government’s priorities are. Three of those priorities are military weapons advancement, an
economic model based on the philosophy Juche, and keeping the country totally isolated from
the rest of the world. South Korea is one of the most open countries in the world, and why it
has proven successful. At this point unification between the two Koreas is simply not possible
and not even desirable despite the claims of a growing number of people for some kind of
confederation. But even confederation is not feasible because of the completely different
emphasis on development the two Koreas have. South Korea’s development is geared towards
capitalist enterprise and allowing its citizens freedoms North Koreans can never imagine. Even
with the North Korean government trying to allow some free enterprise, it is still largely a government
planned economy with a close political system. Until North Korea follows South Korea’s lead,
there will be little possibility with any realistic Korean unification.