With warming political relations, is Korean reunification possible?

As North Korean athletes arrive in South Korea for the winter Olympics, discussion about co-operation and reunification has been prompted.

North Korea appears supportive and positive about such discussions, urging “all Koreans at home and abroad” to “promote contact (and) cooperation between North and South Korea”

In the South, however, protests met the North Korean hockey team as they arrived and a poll suggested that 70% of South Koreans were opposed to the joint hockey team, concerned that their players would, in consequence, get less playing time.

Across the sea, reports have come out suggesting that China would support a unified Korea if it meant peace in the region.

The Chinese ambassador to the United States stated: “China would support reunification if it is the will of the Korean people. “As long as it’s peaceful, it’s independent (and) by the Korean people, China will support it,”

The big question though remains, Is reunification ultimately possible? And how? 

According to Statistics by Seoul National University’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies in 2017 (and reported by Smithsonian.com), just under 25% of respondents did not believe reunification was possible. However, the same poll found that almost 54% of South Koreas felt it was necessary.

And discussions about what sort of system a reunified Korea would adopt is also a point of disagreement.  Whilst just under half would like to keep the same democratic system, other suggestions include a hybrid of the two or the continuation of both systems.

The 1990’s and early 2000’s saw some positive discussion and progress between the two nations, however, that appeared to stall when North Korea began nuclear and missile tests, as well as provoking behaviour.

And whilst communication and dialogue have improved between the two Koreas in recent months, the idea of reunification is still abstract. However, with both countries appearing to take steps in the right direction, only time will tell.

“The two Koreas fundamental ideological difference make it difficult to conceive a credible reunification strategy,”  – Anwita Basu, analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit (CNN)



Breaking down: North Korea’s Party foundation day and concerns

On October 10th North Korea celebrates it’s Party foundation day, however, with current tensions and the nation’s recent missile testing, there are concerns about the upcoming holiday.

What is Party foundation day and What usually happens? 

This holiday marks the foundation of the central organising committee of the Communist part of North Korea.  This year it will celebrate it’s the 72nd anniversary. As a public holiday, there are a number of speeches, performances and other patriotic mass events such as military parades. Citizens are generally provided with food rations and electricity.

Have they marked the day with launches before? 

last year there was a missile launch 4 days after the holiday on the 14th of October and another one last year on the 19th of October.  So while there have not been launches on the day, there have been some around the same time.

Why are there such major concerns then?  

While North Korea has not marked the anniversary before, there has been an increase in testing this year and there have been sustained tensions between North Korea and other countries, particularly the United States.

There were reports that the country was preparing for another test in early September but nothing has come of this as of yet.

Any holiday can create concern, testing and launches are seen as patriotic acts for countries such as North Korea by standing up to other countries and demonstrating their ability/power.

There are some that suggest North Korea will use the holiday as an opportunity to test missiles and/or provoke America.

Some sources have stated that South Korea and America have not seen any preparations for a launch of yet but things are still being monitored and only time will tell


Note: Image from Google Images