South Korea to Seek Unification with North
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
South Korean news reports say the government in Seoul is likely to shift its North Korea policy next year from promoting cross-border cooperation to preparing for reunification.
The reports Wednesday quoted Seoul officials as saying that in 2011 their efforts will focus on strengthening the country's reunification capabilities rather than on dialogue with the north.
Yonhap news agency said Wednesday that in a report to President Lee Myung-bak, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says reunification by absorbing North Korea into the South should also be considered.
The ministry says it will work to form a consensus on the reunification with the United States, Japan and other friendly nations. It also plans to study and prepare for the legal and economic issues involved in the reunification process.
In an opinion piece the Chosun Ilbo newspaper warned that the government should consider all the ramifications of such a policy shift. It said Seoul will have to deal with reactions from North Korea and its ally China, as well as from the opposition at home.
The two Koreas have been split since the Korean War in the early 1950s. Their leaders have long talked about reunification, but relations have soured since President Lee Myung-bak took office two years ago and refused to continue sending aid to the impoverished North until its communist regime took concrete steps toward nuclear disarmament. The tensions reached a high point this year after two attacks by North Korea left 50 South Koreans dead.
North Korea's ally, China, has expressed verbal support for reunification, but many political analysts say Beijing may not really want a unified Korea next door.
South Korea to Seek Unification with North Korea news article came from blogs.voanews.com