Is Korean Unification Really Possible?

Updated on February 17, 2018

Since 1953, the Korean peninsula has been divided. The North has primarily been supported by China and Russia, and the South has been supported by America and other countries with similar interests. During the Korean War, American intervention saved the South from the North. Many other countries also contributed to the defense of South Korea. Since then, South Korea has developed into a very prosperous country. North Korea remains isolated from most of the world and it is a poor society that is ruled by dictators.

The legacy of the Korean War and the nation's separation still exist today and that will probably never change.

Will the Separation Ever End?

Lately there has been talk about rejoining both countries into a single nation. Why is this notion considered to be a good thing? South Korea does not need North Korea, nor will it benefit from reconnecting with North Korea. However, it's obvious that North Korea would greatly benefit from reconnecting with South Korea. Why is there so much passionate interest in reuniting the two estranged countries into a single Korean nation? Who would benefit from that reconciliation? Would reuniting simply serve as a true end to the Korean War since it never officially ended?

Opinions on a reunited Korean nation vary among generations. In South Korea, most people under age 40 are not in favor of reunification. They see no benefit in being part of North Korea. However, those who are much older tend to favor reuniting because of national pride or because they have family members on the other side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Barriers Between the North and South

What would a reunification even look like? One can see that the process of reconnecting would cause more chaos and political intrigue than what's currently present in the Trump presidential administration! One can see how the North would try to slowly gain control through a variety of means. How would the two vastly different governments even join together? The reunification process could only work if the North Korean dictator was removed from his position of power, but taking him out would spark a major political incident.

China's presence and interests also factor into the current state of the Korean peninsula. China's fear of a pro-West country like South Korea extending to its border and the possibility of the presence of American forces on its border remains a key reason why China allows North Korea to exist in its current state. After all, during the Korean War, it was not Russian troops that battled Americans and others, it was Chinese troops. The Chinese use North Korea as a buffer. A Korean reunification would be troublesome for China, which is why China continues to support the north.

North Korea would benefit from the South Korea's strong economy and modern technology, but what would South Korea get in return? A borderless country? Free travel? Security without the looming threat of invasion? More farmland to cultivate? Some enhanced manufacturing capability? All of these options could potentially benefit the south, but do they provide enough incentive to reconcile?

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, all this talk about reunifying the two Korean nations is just the result of wishful thinking. South Korea would gain very little from reconnecting with North Korea. The two governments would have to agree on so many issues and it is hard to see how the two nations could strike an acceptable balance between their differing political ideologies. The reality is that unifying would be more complex and costly than people can anticipate. The results of a potential reconnection would probably resemble Iraq's greatly fractured government. I think that reunification would be a fiasco.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

        Ashutosh Joshi 

        2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Should it happen? Yes. Would it happen? Well! Highly unlikely.

        China doesn't want it and so does the US and with them backing DPRK and ROK respectively, a unified Korea is certainly a far-fetched dream. Besides, when 'Pyongchang' is over with, it will all be bau.

      • Mr. Happy profile image

        Mr. Happy 

        2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

        Of course they'll come together. One people, one language, one history - need more reasons?

        Nothing stays the same forever. Many people tend to forget that but really all we can do is sit and watch. It's out of our hands. The unification will happen between North and South Korea not between anyone else.

        Just my two cents.

        All the best!

      • emge profile image

        MG Singh 

        2 years ago from Singapore

        No never. German example is not applicable here as the USA does not want a united Korea as it would ultimately end in the basket of Kim, like South Vietnam falling to Ho Chi Minh.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)