Ariana Wu Portola HS 10th Grade
The reunification of North and South Korea, a future which may have seemed impossible in previous years, is becoming an increasingly possible reality. Massive strides have been made in recent months to improve relations between the Koreas including the first high-level military talks in ten years between the countries as well as them agreeing to compete as one sports team in the 2018 Asian games, a sign of friendly comradery.
While reunification remains a controversial topic among many, there are a number of benefits that would come from the creation of one Korea. Contrary to popular belief, these advantages would aid both countries, not just North Korea.
South Korea’s economy would reap numerous benefits following reunification. The disbanding of North Korea’s vast army, which is currently the fourth-largest in the world, would supplement South Korea’s economy with newly freed workers. In “What North and South Korea Would Gain if they were Reunified,” an article from the Economist addressing the numerous benefits to reunification, it is revealed that “about 17M workers would join the South’s 36M.” Additionally, North Korea’s demographic is significantly younger than South Korea’s, whose working-age population has begun to shrink since 2017.
Although the initial cost of Reunification may seem lofty, North Korea has an abundance of mineral wealth that holds vast potential. The Quartz article “What North Korea’s economy might look like if it ever reunited with the South,” states that “North Korea has an estimated ＄6 trillion worth of untapped mineral wealth.” These are resources that could restore North Korea’s former industrial glory and advance South Korea’s technology industry immensely.
Additionally, as one Korea becomes more likely, nuclear tensions between North Korea and the United States have decreased since reunification was a driving factor of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear plan.
The economic and political benefits of one Korea are evident, but the driving factor behind reunification comes down to be the shared history and connection that North and South Korea share. NKNews.org’s article “Why unification offers the best chance for improving North Korean human rights,” informs that “leadership of both Koreas agree that the‘ shared blood, history, and culture’ of the Korean people is more important than the differences that have emerged during 70 years of division.”
When it comes down to it, the two countries ultimately stem from the same rich history. Families once torn apart by the division between the Koreas gain hope to be united once again as more progress is made.
Reunification clearly comes with numerous positive effects and the steps being taken to amend the divide between North and South Korea are abundant. With more progress being made each day, it is evident that a unified Korea is on the horizon.
<Ariana Wu Portola HS 10th Grade