korean reunification 2019

In most past situations, like in Iraq or Haiti, the host nation was unable to provide essential services to its population, so the United States assumed that role. To do so, it assesses the current state of U.S. involvement in unification planning, core issues presented by scenario-based planning, and how stabilization may provide a more productive approach to unification.

Scenarios are also inherently limiting and often-times politicized. While the US is mostly concerned about North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and its potential to reach US territory, South Koreans may simply not see the weapons in the same light, which could also explain the decrease in condemnation with Version 3. All three scenarios assume that unification will occur while North Korea is in a state of fragility, which will require a concerted effort on the part of South Korea and its international partners to stabilize the newly unified country. Even though East Germany’s NVA was heavily supervised by the ruling Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (Socialist Unity Party, SED) with constant reminders that the military served the party, political indoctrination and ideological education in North Korea is incomparably stronger and more resilient. South Korea already has the experience of integrating some 31,000 North Korean defectors into its society that will prove useful in unification.

102 “Syria Emergency,” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,, In a 2018 survey conducted for the U.S. government’s Stabilization Assistance Review, 86 percent of U.S. government experts did not know which agencies have lead responsibility for which elements of stabilization. However, the North and South Korea Summit in 2018 has greatly changed people’s perceptions, the most important strides toward reunification.

Over the long term, the entrenchment of these practices can prevent North Koreans from being integrated into the unified Korean legal system, systematically disadvantaging them by creating barriers to their participation and representation in legal institutions. 71 Frederick Zilian Jr., From Confrontation to Cooperation: The Takeover of the National People’s (East German) Army by the Bundeswehr (Westpost, CT: Praeger, 1991), p. 60.

Such views and other political obstacles severely limit and constrain the U.S. government and military from planning key support to the ROK throughout the process of unification with the exception of conflict contingency planning. In early 1992, an independent committee was set up by the German government to review all of the records of the officers and NCOs in the NVA. 18 David F. Mitchell, “NGO Presence and Activity in Afghanistan, 2000–2014: A Provincial-Level Dataset,” Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 6(1), p.5.,; United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan,; “The U.S. War in Afghanistan 1999 – 2019,” Council on Foreign Relations, However, because many of the locations of North Korea’s nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons are unknown, this phase will be a major undertaking requiring a considerable amount of time, delaying other vital missions. World Summit 2019 Discusses Korean Reunification Written by Dr. Oliver Davies and Dr. William Selig Saturday, February 9, 2019 . Moreover, securing WMD requires a major ground-force presence, and the United States and South Korea have never fought a ground war with loose CBRN material in the operating environment. Whether local political units attached to various KPA echelons will also collapse if the KWP collapses remains unknown. Identify, understand, and mitigate major intelligence blind spots in acute and prolonged crises in North Korea with special reference to CWMD operations such as identifying and monitoring high-level personnel, significant movements in equipment and construction, and logistical infrastructure. 68 Frederick Zilian, Jr., From Confrontation to Cooperation: The Takeover of the National People’s (East German) Army by the Bundeswehr (Westpost, CT: Praeger, 1991), p. 3.

The April 2018 Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula proclaims, in part, that “South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations.”1 While the two Koreas have starkly different ideas of what form unification should take, it is an undeniable end-goal of ongoing engagement. 103 Bridget Coggins, “Refugees, Internal Displacement, and the Future of the Korean Peninsula,” Beyond Parallel, February 2, 2018. The KPA’s 1.2 million conventional forces are among the largest in the world. State-run transportation, mining companies, and trading companies can be rehabilitated to function in an open market economy, just as the Japanese Zaibatsu were after World War II.

According to the Fragile States Index, North Korea has been a chronically fragile state since the Fund for Peace began collecting data in 2006.10 Regardless of how unification occurs, the ROK and its international partners have to undertake stability actions that ensure the safety, security, well-being, and ultimately, prosperity and freedom of all North Koreans.

Jangmadang are markets that emerged after the famine of the 1990s, when the state was no longer able to provide for its citizens.

Accessing rural areas, where those with the lowest songbun reside, will be far more difficult logistically than accessing Pyongyang and other urban areas. 11, no. In order to ensure that foreign actors have a constructive, rather than a destabilizing role in unification, it is very important that South Korea work closely with its most important ally and, as necessary, other regional powers to overcome key obstacles to integration. South Korea will be the predominant driver in these endeavors, and should prioritize efforts that build the foundation for inclusive institutions.

Combined, whether through concerted negotiations between the two Koreas, the conclusion of a peace treaty leading to a new geopolitical balance of power in and around the Korean Peninsula, or even through a North Korean collapse, it’s time to move away from scenario-based unification planning to stability-based unification planning. The first attempt at this was the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950. Moreover, they may eventually accept the new political system but organize parties based on the Korean Workers’ Party to contest nationwide parliamentary and municipal elections. Improve intelligence collection and analysis on known and suspected WMD storage sites, research centers, factories, and other facilities, though many remain unknown. Yet this is far from an exhaustive representation of all stability actions. 6 Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, DoD Directive 3000.05 Stabilization, Patrick M. Shanahan, December 13, 2018, 3, While the ROK has participated in stabilization in Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and other locations, it has not led or been first on the ground in a conflict zone. Follow the conversation—Sign up to receive email updates when comments are posted to this article. These defectors face discrimination from South Koreans: North Koreans, with their distinct accents and smaller physical size, stick out. Amidst the tension, Moon administration in South Korea starting from 2017 consistently delivered the messages of reconciliation and collaboration to North Korea. There are two ways in which peaceful unification is typically discussed, the second of which is represented in figure 4.

Understanding major bottlenecks including faulty or limited real-time intelligence, complex decisionmaking channels, and shaping desired outcomes and reorganizing them into the North Korean context could enhance situational awareness of pre-IDD operational challenges. Although the two Koreas desire an independent unification process, South Korea also acknowledges the possibility of foreign powers’ participation. In a scenario with various military factions and insurgents, enemy elements could also gain control of WMD.

Seoul has flown German bureaucrats from that era over to pick their brains for insight. Reforming institutions is far less difficult than abolishing them entirely and building new ones.

In many aspects of stability actions in the North, particularly restoring essential services and establishing rule of law, the United States will be most heavily involved in the initial phase of restoration. 116 Joint Publication 3-07 Stability, xiii. There are many hurdles to overcome in order to bring two Korean countries into the reunification. Your email address will not be published. 80 Adam Serwer, “What It Took to Save a North Korean Defector’s Life,” The Atlantic, Jan 12, 2018, And, as it turns out, it is as frightfully formidable an idea to those I spoke with for this article. The ROK will also lead efforts to provide services, improve infrastructure, and relocate IDPs. 85 “Powell: U.S. Misjudged Pre-War Iraq,” CNN, October 31, 2003,

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