« Previous | Main | Next »

Could the Koreas unite?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 11:36 UK time, Monday, 16 August 2010


"Unification will come definitely. Time has come to prepare realistic measures in anticipation of the day (of unification), such as a unification tax."

That's a quote from Lee Myung-bak, South Korea's president on Sunday asking South Koreans to dig deep to fund unification with North Korea.

The Korea Herald didn't agree with him on its editorial page:

Despite his understandable intent to ease the supposedly devastating impact of an eventual unification, the presidential suggestion came at the wrong time.

In a speech on Sunday marking 65 years since the peninsula was liberated from Japanese colonial rule, Mr Lee said the two nations should first form a peace community, then a deeper economic union and ultimately remove the other barriers to reunification.
The "unification tax" which would fund the move would cost more than $1.3trn (£830bn), according to estimates by Southern politicians.

Analysts said his idea was unlikely to impress the North, where state media frequently refers to him and his supporters as traitors and sycophants.

Lee's announcement comes as a series of huge military drills by South Korea and the US are getting started, despite warnings of a "merciless counterblow" from the North.

And, you probably remember South Korea blaming North Korea for the sinking of the Cheonan in March where 46 sailors were killed.

So with all this tension between the two Koreas, could talk of unification be a possibilty?
Or could it in fact be the reason for the unification conversation?

Here's a tweet from SunnyJohnEkong

Not trying to sound insentitive to the average N. Korean's plight, I still think S. Korea's president's call for unification is DANGEROUS!!!

Do you agree?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.