Policy & Research

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the geopolitical structures of the Cold War era that produced the division of the Korean peninsula have disintegrated. Although China has replaced the Soviet Union as North Korea’s principal ally and economic lifeline, China’s interests have matured from Cold War ideological confrontation to prioritizing economic growth and regional stability. North Korea has become a barrier to the economic development of the region, and North Korea’s international isolation and provocative actions a source of frustration to China. Unification is increasingly being studied, not as a distant dream for future generations, but as a realistic and a strategic approach to promoting regional stability, economic growth, and denuclearization of the peninsula. Following the North–South Joint Declaration in 2000, international scholars and Korea experts have increasingly explored scenarios that could provide the impetus for reunification, including the collapse of the North Korean regime and other more measured steps that could accommodate the interests North and South, as well as neighboring countries.

Policy Experts on Korea Reunification

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The Future Vision for a Peaceful, Unified Korean Peninsula: A Chinese Perspective

To Chinese government, a rapid and violent reunification is clearly undesirable, but an “independent, peaceful, and gradual” reunification is different and would be desirable. Yet, such a desirable reunification is deemed by Chinese government as unfeasible in the near future. An address by Cai Jian, Ph. D.,Center for Korean Studies, Fudan University

Korean Unification Vision and Northeast Asian Peace-Building: A Japanese View

North Korea’s nuclear weapons development has been a major security concern for Japan, South Korea, the United States, China, and Russia. Japan's active economic engagement with North Korea would contribute significantly to peace-building in Northeast Asia and promote Korean unification. An address by Dr. Yoshinori Kaseda, University of Kitakyushu.

China’s Role in Korean Unification Vision and Northeast Asian Peace-Building

Chanilim714 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
For China, the division of the Korean Peninsula is a historical product and the master of the ultimate unification on the Peninsula are the Korean people; outside powers’ interference, no matter what the motive will be, cannot stop the unification trend. An address by Xiaohe Cheng, Deputy Director, Center for China’s International Strategic Studies, Renmin University of China

Japan’s Northeast Asia Strategy and Korean Reunification

Threats from North Korea have increased the investment and security risks in the region. To lower this risk, the best way would be to elevate the level of mutual dependency by strengthening economic ties between Northeast Asian countries and North Korea. An address by Chanwoo Lee, Specially Appointed Fellow Japan Center for Economic Research.

China’s Perspectives on North Korea and Korean Reunification

China’s central principle is the stability of the Korean Peninsula. China would like to maintain the stability to concentrate on economic development and modernization, which has been the national priority for decades. An address by Chu Shulong, Institute of International Strategic and Development Studies, Tsinghua University

Mongolia’s Diplomacy with the Two Koreas: Video

A roundtable discussion with Mongolia's Ambassador to the United States and Mongolia's Minister of foreign affairs with former U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia on the East Asian nation's unique political and humanitarian relationship with North and South Korea and its view with regard to Korean reunification.

Japan-South Korea: Finding Common Ground: Video

A forum and roundtable discussion on Japan-South Korea cooperation on North Korea policy following the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The forum was hosted at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and moderated by CSIS Korea Chair Dr. Victor Cha.

China’s Policy Toward Korean Peninsula Reunification: Video

A roundtable discussion on China-South Korea cooperation agenda on North Korea policy with U.S. Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Sydney Seiler, Dr. Quansheng Zhao, Professor of International Relations and Chair of the Asian Studies Program Research Council at American University, moderated by Dr. Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

How Japan Can Prepare for Unification of Korean Peninsula

Japan needs to go beyond its conventional style of diplomacy, which focuses on dealing with the current situation, and prepare a Korean Peninsula policy that takes into account the potential for regime change in North Korea and north-south unification at some stage in the future. An address by Atsushi Ijuin, Lead Economist, Japan Center for Economic Research

Leading the Process of Peaceful Unification of the Korean Peninsula

International consensus on the unification of the Korean Peninsula can be reached when the international community reaches an agreed vision of the unification and joins hands to help make that vision a reality, overcoming the old Cold War mindset. An address by Sang jin Shin, National Assembly of Korea

A Way Forward Toward Peace: Focusing on the ROK-US Alliance

Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea City Panorama Photo
Reunification of Korean peninsula cannot be achieved by merely one side’s aspiration. Inter-Korean relations can be restored through meetings and person to person exchanges, approached from the concept that North and South are on the same boat sharing fates. An address by Young Kyo Seo, National Assembly of Korea

CSIS and Korean Studies Institute at USC Explore Unification Challenges

The Center for Strategic and International Studies conducted a groundbreaking initiative on Korea unification in cooperation with the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California. Korean reunification presents one of the greatest challenges as well as opportunities for the United States, Korea, and Asia.

One Korea Unification Vision through Neutralization

The Korean people as key players must work together for a neutralization-unification formula and persuade four major powers to support a neutralized, unified Korea, which will be in their best interests. An address by Dr. Tae-Hwan Kwak, Former President, Korea Institute for National Unification

The Future Vision for a Unified Korean Peninsula: A U.S. Perspective

Korea has always been part of the larger U.S. strategic policy for the region and the world. The United States has not and will not produce a Korean unification policy on its own for implementation beyond the level of rhetoric. An address by Tong Kim, Visiting Professor at Korea University and at The University of North Korean Studies.

Russia’s Efforts for Peace and Reconciliation in Korea

The promotion of a good-neighborhood and mutually advantageous cooperation with the regional states in Northeast Asia is getting ever more important in view of Russia’s policy “Turning to the East.” An address by Dr. Alexander Zhebin, Director of the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies.

The ‘Christ-Buddha’ Path to Unity on the Korean Peninsula

"Christ-Buddha path to Korean unity" refers to the need for the North Korean leadership to show the wisdom of Lord Buddha and for the South Korean side to exhibit the compassion of Jesus Christ. An address by Madhav Das Nalapat, UNESCO Peace Chair, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University.

The Challenge of China: USA Perspectives for One Korea

To change North Korea’s behavior, the West must first change China’s. It must be made to pay a price for enabling North Korea to create an existential threat for South Korea, Japan, and the United States. An address by Joseph Bosco, Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Role of Republic of Korea in Sustainable Development

By championing reunification of the Koreas and building a global coalition in this direction, Korea will be making active contributions to the international peace and stability. An address by HE Raila Odinga, former Prime Minister, Republic of Kenya.

Second Korean War Imminent but Avoidable: an Indian Perspective

The four years of the Trump administration represent perhaps the last window available to resolve the Korea problem through a peaceful reunification. An address by Madhav Das Nalapat, UNESCO Peace Chair, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University.

Korea Reunification: A Path to Freedom and Democracy

Reunification should not be a quest to integrate or average the two systems, but to advance the welfare of all Koreans. An address by Dr. Edwin Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation.

South Korea’s Evolving Views of Reunification and Growing Consensus

Over the years, thinking on the concept of reunification has taken distinct forms and has been motivated by a combination of ideology and real-world events. Now an important sea-change in thinking about reunification on the Korean peninsula has emerged. by An address by Victor Cha, Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Russia and the Korean Peninsula: Policy and Investment: Video

A forum on Russia and the Korean peninsula, with a focus on regional integration, energy and infrastructure investment, and diplomacy with Korea experts from Russia and the United States, hosted at the Cneter for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Looking for a Road to Peace and Reconciliation in Korea

Experience with the DPRK testifies that excessive pressure and coercion had led to greater suspicion and hostility, while engagement and respect for certain positions shaped by history's legacies has brought about cooperation and compromise. An address by Dr. Alexander Zhebin, Director, Center for Korean Studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies.

Strengthening Cooperation for Northeast Asia Peace and Security

A unified democratic Korea with 75 million hard-working people could emerge as the Germany of Asia—a new economic powerhouse and force for stability in the region. An address by Dr. Sue Mi Terry, Senior Fellow for Korea at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Social Transformation and Strengthening Models for Denuclearization

The unification process could catalyze exit from nuclear weapons, as the security of the new state, even if it is only a confederation, has to be redefined and guaranteed one way or the other. An address Dr Tarja Cronberg, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

The Korean Peninsula: An Opportunity and NOT a Crisis

The properties of substances and Nations can change under extreme heat and pressure. After more than six decades of diplomatic stagnation, an unprecedented nexus of factors have brought us to this moment when the heat and pressure are high. An address by Dr. William J Parker III, Chief Operating Officer, EastWest Institute

“Bright Sunshine” or War: The Choice in Dealing with a Nuclear DPRK

By offering only the non-existent “choice” between peaceful surrender and surrender through war, the U.S. and Japan have made a mutually agreed elimination of nuclear weapons by the DPRK an impossible outcome. Another option is a “Bright Sunshine” policy towards Pyongyang that would result in expanded contact and exchange between North and South. An address by Professor Madhav Das Nalapat, UNESCO Peace Chair, Manipal University, India

Keynote Address, Economic Forum on One Korea 2017

Through unification, the mineral and other natural resources of the North will become essential for economic growth in the Korean economy, and the twenty-five million people of North Korea will become the source of an expanded domestic labor market, bringing an end to to the cruel chapter of division and fulfilling a national destiny to build a model nation that can serve all humanity. Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, Chairman, Global Peace Foundation

The Emerging Role of Civil Society in Opening North Korea

Change in the North is fraught with challenges and complexities. But expanding the possibilities and practice of freedom will be a key to progress. Principles that lift up human dignity, creativity and responsibility are the foundation for a free society to prosper and flourish. An address by Dr. Edwin Feulner, Founder, the Heritage Foundation.

The Multilateral Security Mechanism in Northeast Asia and Role of Mongolia

Civil society can play the role not only between the individual and the state but also between citizens. It is also effective to engage North Korean citizens inthe multilateral dialogues and events, focused on non-traditional security issues. An address by Nanjin Dorjsuren, Mongolia Institute for Strategic Studies.

Expanding Global Consciousness for a Unified Korea

The vision of the Korean Dream can be engaged through multi-sector, track two approaches to expand global consensus for a united, peaceful Korea. An address by David L. Caprara, Vice President, Global Peace Foundation.

Civil Society Cooperation in Global Humanitarian Development: Video

This forum explores multilateral contributions supporting Korean-led Reunification initiatives predicated upon principles and historic values in Korean culture.

AKU’s Mongolia’s Approach to Korean Reunification

Fostering regional trust through so-called soft security issues such as economic development, energy and infrastructure cooperation, and environmental and other non-traditional threats can lead to greater understanding and bridging differences. An address by Ambassador J. Enkhsaikhan, Chairman, Blue Banner

AKU’s Innovative Approaches for Realizing One Korea

The unification movement should be more about the vision than political process. e vision by all means regardless of any political difficulties. A strong and broad civil base is a key groundwork for peaceful unification. An address by Inteck Seo, Co-chair, Action for Korea United

Action for Korea United Fifth Anniversary Assembly

Civic organizations, corporations, NGO's, faith groups, and all the many forms of civil society need to cooperate and build consensus, not only on the endgame strategy of unification but also on how they should engage the North. Remarks from Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon

‘Hongik Ingan’ as the Governance Principle of One Korea

Rooted in the founding legend of the very first Korean kingdom in 2333 BC, Hongik Ingan has served as the guiding doctrine both for the rulers in governance and general populace in ordinary lives through millennia. An address by Dr. Jai Poong Ryu, Chairman One Korea Foundation; Professor emeritus, Loyola University

Reflections on the Declaration of Unification for One Korea

Just as the unanimous wish of the Korean people was reunification a century ago, the wish of the Korean people today is also reunification and is an outcome of self esteem striving not to lose dignity and belief in realization of justice. An address by Dr. Young-tae Kwon, Senior Researcher, Global Peace Institute

Korea’s Future and the Paradigm Changes of World Politics

Throughout history, closed and isolated countries have been perished, and countries with active international exchanges have flourished. An address by Dr. Jin Shin, Professor, Chungnam National University.

The Future Vision of a Unified Korea and Building a World of Peace

The principles and values that form the fundamental basis of human rights and freedoms that we take for granted in this modern age are the very basis upon which the people of Korea obtained their national identity. Keynote Address by Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, Chairman, Global Peace Foundation

A Global Ethical Framework for Societal Transformation

‘Hong-ik Ingan and Jaesae-ihwa’ are very significant in Korean society and are the foundation of social transformation, ethical values and spiritual virtues. An address by Dr. Kyung-Ro Yoon Former President, Hansung University.

‘Korean Dream’ of One Korea a Model for Global Unity

Koreans today need to draw upon the shared destiny and cultural values that long predate the conflicting ideologies since 1945 to bridge the ideological, political, economic and national divides on the peninsula and build a peaceful future for all Koreans. Keynote address by Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon

Resources on Korean Division and Reunification

Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is one of the world’s preeminent international policy institutions focused on defense and security, regional study, and transnational challenges ranging from energy and trade to global development and economic integration. For the past six years consecutively, CSIS has been named the world’s number one think tank for international security by the University of Pennsylvania’s “Go To Think Tank Index.” The CSIS Chair partners with a number of groups to organize international conferences and forums to bring greater transparency and understanding to issues associated with planning for the unification of the Korean peninsula.

HeritageFoundation

The Heritage Foundation is a leading American research institute based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading advisory role during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage’s policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States.

Global Peace Foundation

The Global Peace Foundation (GPF) is an international nonprofit organization with a stated mission to promote “an innovative, values-based approach to peacebuilding, guided by the vision of One Family under God.” GPF partners with government ministries, community and faith-based organizations, and United Nations offices to develop and execute programs.

Ministry of Unification

The Ministry of Unification is an executive department of the South Korean government aimed at promoting Korean reunification. It was first established in 1969 as the National Unification Board, under the rule of Park Chung-hee. It gained its current status in 1998 and has played a major role in promoting inter-Korean dialogues, and exchanges and cooperation.