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korean reunification

korean reunification - Jae Hoon(Andrew Lee Lindsey Ramon...

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Jae Hoon (Andrew) Lee Lindsey Ramon EASC 150 11/12/10 E2: Prospects For Reunification of North and South Korea The Korean Demilitarialized Zone (DMZ) is a four-kilometer buffer that runs 238 thousand kilometers along the border of North and South Korea. With more than a million landmines, rows of high voltage electric fences, and two million soldiers, it is one of the most security intensive places in the world. DMZ is a unique area of constant tension. On one side of a concrete marker is North Korea and the other side is South Korea. In this unique area, each side shows its best face. North Korea only stations well fed and top ranked officers in this zone, and South Korea only stations soldiers taller than 5 food 8 inches. This joint security area is a reminder to the world that the Korean War never ended and the very long cease fire continues to this day(Inside).Many wonder when the North and the South would be able to reach an agreement and reunify. The status quo of the Korea Peninsula will remain due to the persistence of the North Korean regime, staggering costs of reunification, and the reluctance of the stakeholders in the region to expedite the process. The hopes of reunification after the defeat of Japanin World War II were crushed by the conflicting political agendas of the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union refused to comply with the UN resolution which called for a general election in the Korean peninsula under their supervision. Therefore a new resolution was only adopted in the South where a democratic government was established and inevitably, a Communist regime was established in the North (Coghlan). The Korean War started when North Korea launched a full-scale invasion of the South in an attempt to reunify the peninsula by force. This war lasted for three years and after many
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casualties and damages to the land, the result was the status quo. A cease-fire was signed in July 1953 and both countries have diverged further politically, economically, and socially, due to the clashing ideologies (Coghlan). The fall of Communism in the Soviet Union and the unification of Germany initially spurred on confident predictions of reunification of the Korean peninsula. The summit between former South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Il in June 2000 further fueled this enthusiasm. Over the past few years however, there has been little tangible process and the confident predictions have been subdued (Beck). This could be credited to the persistence of the North Korean regime and the realization of the enormous cost South Korea would have to bear during the reunification process. The persistence of the North Korean regime despite its faltering economy is the concept of “Juche.” “Juche” is a policy of isolationalism and self reliance that emphasizes on investment on military expenditures. This idealistic policy has increasingly isolated North Korea from the rest of the world and to compensate North Korea has continued its strategic options by investing
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