::: KNSI : Korea National Strategy Institute :::
::: KNSI : Korea National Strategy Institute :::
       June 24 2024
Is ¡°Unification Bonanza¡± Possible in Near Future? by Georgy Toloraya

The anticipation of the "imminent collapse" of DPRK as the prerequisite for unification of Korea remains the mainstream of South Korean and U.S. political thinking for the last quarter-century. The root of the problem seems to be the regretful misunderstanding in Seoul of the core interests and the nature of North Korean political class, as well as the total rejection of the idea of taking the interests of this class into consideration.

What kind of policy could suite South Korea's national interests most? And not run counter to the interests of big powers? South Korea should take the driver's seat. My policy suggestions are simple and lie totally within the realm of possibilities in modern South Korea, especially with the advent of a new generations of politicians.

- Cooperation with North Korea should be revived, starting from the abolition of the "May 24th measures" that have barred most inter-Korean trade since 2010.
- Previous and new economic projects, including Geumgansan, and also Russia-promoted trilateral projects should be re-started.
- Humanitarian aid projects should be carried on without attempts to introduce a "hidden agenda" of undermining the North Korean regime.
- The denuclearization issue should be qualified as a matter for multilateral (Six-Party) negotiations, not inter-Korean relations.
- Political contacts on a mutually respectful basis to discuss the prospects of cooperation and the concepts of unification should be introduced, probably based on the former summit meetings agreements.

That could pave a way to an inter-Korean summit. Eventually legally binding basic document between the two Koreas should be prepared, recognizing the reality of two separate administrative entities on the Korean Peninsula at least for the time being. Of course so far it is just a wishful thinking. But should we wait another quarter-century for a North Korea¡¯s collapse, which might never happen?
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