‘Reunification cost’ is not an inappropriate term in the context of current ROKG unification policy according to a recent article on korea.net. With an underlying faith that North Korea will not collapse, the article states:
Think tanks, major financial institutions and individuals are busy estimating how much it may cost to reunite South and North Korea. They often refer to the estimated fee as the “reunification cost.”
However, before we estimate the cost, we need to speculate whether the term “reunification cost” applies when discussing the possible reunification of the two Koreas.
The “reunification cost” here means the total cost that is needed from physically reuniting two countries to the expense incurred until the two countries are settled after reunification.
In that case, though estimates can never be exact, the cost of German reunification altogether, according to different estimates, has been 1.2 trillion to 1.5 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion).
In general, the term reunification cost applies to the case where the reunification is relatively sudden and quick like that of German. It doesn’t apply to the gradual and step-by-step reunification that both Koreas desire.
President Roh Moo-hyun said in Frankfurt, Germany, last year that reunification of the Korean Peninsula would become possible after undergoing “national confederation.’
Under the proposed confederation, the two Koreas will maintain separate systems in the intermediary stage in preparation for reunification while institutionalizing cooperation, he said during a meeting with Korean-German residents.
While the article may ring true for current ROKG unification policy, I am happy that there are ‘think tanks, major financial institutions and individuals’ willing to count the costs and think about the possibility that ’sudden and quick’ unification could possibly occur. It’s always better to prepare for the worst and be pleased by reality, no?
Actually, even the term ‘cost’ gives a negative connotation. When someone says ‘unification cost’ it immediately has a negative meaning… like a tax or a bill. Why not ‘unification investment’??? Then we are really talking positively!!!