Half of South Koreans Don’t Want to Pay for Reunification

From Segye Ilbo:

Report Finds Half of South Koreans Don’t Want to Pay for Reunification


A report shows that half of South Koreans don’t want to bear the economic burden of reunification. The voices calling for reunification continues to weaken as this number increases.

According to the results of a report submitted by Seoul National University’s Center for International Studies to the Ministry of Unification and the Korean Political Science Association, when respondents were asked “Are you willing to pay additional costs associated with reunification? If you are, what is the annual extra cost you can pay? 44.3% answered “I would not pay.”

31.9% stated that they would be willing to pay 50,000 won, 11.7% were willing to pay 50,000- 100,000 won, 8.7% to pay 100,000- 300,000 won, and 1.2% were willing to pay 1,000,000 won or more.

According to the report, respondents generally did not feel that reunification was an urgent issue that needed to be resolved.

25.8% of respondents felt “We need to have reunification as soon as possible.” 45.8% felt that “While reunification is necessary, there’s no need to rush.” Close to 30% of respondents felt negatively towards reunification, with 18% stating that “Reunification is not absolutely necessary” and 10.2% of respondents saying “I’m indifferent towards reunification.”

There was a significant difference between how young people and elderly felt about the importance of reunification.

Of young adults ages 19-29, 28.5% responded “Reunification is very important,” 24.5% felt that “It’s not that important,” and 7.1% felt that “Reunification is not important at all.”

In contrast, of those in their 60s, more than 46.7% responded that “Reunification is very important.” Not one person responded that “Reunification is not important at all.”

The North Korean nuclear issue was the largest obstacle for respondents (38.5%) in moving forward with reunification. Other obstacles cited included: domestic altercations within South Korea (24.7%), the cost of reunification (23.3%), and the stance of other powerful neighboring countries (12.4%).

This survey was conducted last year from November 28 to December 16 in Seoul. 1001 male and female adults were selected and asked to participate in in-person interviews. The results of the survey are accurate at a 95% confidence level plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Comments from Naver:


Welfare is important but as far as taxes, you’ll have to leave me out.[Sarcasm]

whlt**** [Responding to above]

If the President Bitch didn’t give rich people a tax reduction, then we could definitely provide welfare properly. The President Bitch said she wouldn’t raise taxes for welfare but did she lie?


I’m afraid of reunification…differences in thought…differences in lifestyle, etc. Living in this society with currently existing gaps is already tough…and we are talking about reunification?


If we don’t reunify, our society will only continue to age, and we will be ruined. If you don’t like the idea of reunification, take immigration from Southeast Asia, which you also oppose. In any case, our nation is uncivilized and can’t see the future. People are simple-mindedly like “I dislike North Koreans so I oppose reunification” without giving it much thought.


Take the monthly salary and pension that National Assembly Members make and return it. You guys are supposed to work for the people but don’t understand how the people are feeling. Fuckers.


You should also calculate the long-term and short-term costs caused by current division. [to compare with the reunification costs] Isn’t that right? ㅡㅡ


Are people who are so miserly with their money that they don’t have children really going to pay the reunification fee? ke ke ke


To connect with the continent, we need reunification…but…we don’t need North Koreans. We only need their land. That’s my honest feeling.


Let those who want to invest in North Korea pay the reunification costs or take some from the defense budget if possible. I’m okay with paying the reunification taxes, but this issue will divide the nation. It would be better to make those who will benefit the most from the reunification pay the costs. Of course, it will be tough for several decades afterwards. Besides Russia, what allies or neighboring countries want the two Koreas to be reunified? Ke. As long as China isn’t democratized, Korean reunification is a pipe dream. If the North Korean pig regime is about to collapse, China will help them.

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  • bigwheels

    Such a shame. The short term payments will lead to millions of extra taxpayers to the korean population in the long term. I feel that the anti-reunificationists are scaremongering.

    • vonskippy

      Yes, it’s hard to believe they’re not excited at turning into the worlds biggest welfare state.

  • realist

    Am I reading this correctly? Over 50% (31.9+11.7+8.7) of Koreans wouldn’t pay a cent over $300 to have a country that more than doubles in size? And almost a third wouldn’t pay more than $50?

    • takasar1


      • realist

        Yeah, that doesn’t make a difference. If I had the opportunity to double the territory of my country, I would leave my car and house keys on the living room table, walk out of my house naked and never come back if that were the price.

        • takasar1

          you quite obviously don’t understand how economics works. land size/population size does not automatically reflect in gdp size and gdp size does NOT impact the living standards of the population. you double the territory, you quadruple your debt, triple your social investments, watch as resources become even more scarce on a per capita basis and see your fiscal surplus turn into a deficit.

          • Chucky3176

            Not necessarily. North Korea is abundant in natural resources, including gold, uranium, oil, natural gas, valuable minerals – all unexploited due to North Korea’s technology level and isolation. After all, the Korean peninsula is basically an extension of Siberia. The conservative commodity estimation reaches well over $7 trillion in year 2005 numbers. North Korea hold enough natural resources to pay for the reunifications over time, and well beyond. Even Jim Rogers agrees.


            “In a few years we’re going to see a merger of North and South Korea, and there’s going to be a new dynamic new country right there on the Chinese border that will be a huge competitor to Japan. Japan doesn’t want a merger but I suspect it’s going to happen. South Korea will be a competitor of 75 million people, cheap labor in the north, disciplined educated labor, huge natural resources in the north, combined with management and capital from South Korea – it will be a powerhouse, Japan couldn’t compete..and right on the Chinese border… Japan doesn’t want to compete with something like that.”

          • One for all

            I was about to mention that as well.

            The other issue, or benefit (for some) would be the insanely cheap labour that could revive Korea’s agricultural and declining manufacturing sectors. Plus the potential job creation opportunitiesunification would provide for Korea’s unemployed.

            As one someone else mentioned, the opportunity to more than double the country’s land (NK territory is larger than SK) and increase the population by 50% will yield more good than harm in the long term for a country with limited land and a rapidly declining birth rate.

            I think people realize unification will not be a walk in the park, but I also think many Koreans have forgotten the amount of effort that was needed to transform their country into what it is today, or perhaps they remember but don’t want to go through it again.

          • takasar1

            Wait…jim rogers? The guy who believes finance will soon be useless and accountants and bankers will be left driving taxis?!? This clown? The guy who couldn’t foresee the current end of the commodities boom? A guy who’s recent career has been based off of championing commodities, to the point where he encourages us all to drop our jobs and turn to farming and mining?? The guy is an investor/trader, whatever he says should be taken with a huge pinch of salt. This guy’s main fortune came from working with George soros, yet for some strange reason the media still loves him. He also seems to have a knack for ignoring major events and downplaying disasters/down-turns, apparently everything is going swell in china now, and apparently we shouldn’t be worried at all, even though the problems are right in front of us.

            As for north korea, I am actually quite curious, how do we
            know that there are 7 trillion worth of minerals? Who’s done the calculations, research, dug deeply into the soil? Its all hearsay, just like how the US was supposed to be rolling around in cheap shale gas, it’s a bubble which will soon be popped. Think of it this way, even if there are substantial reserves, does korea have the technology to crack into it? More importantly, is it economical? Seeing as the commodities boom is dying in front of us, I don’t think digging for such little reward is advisable. Besides, north korea is likely not the world leader in any of these minerals, I don’t see how it will be able affect market prices through its own production. At best, they may be able to contribute towards the trade surplus, but even then, it will be decades before the effects are clearly visible. As for cheap labor, seeing as how the north’s fertility rate has (apparently) been below replacement level for the last decade (although, while declining, it is much higher than the south’s) and with a substantial portion of the population over the age of 30, unless re-unification occurs suddenly within the decade, I don’t see how a population boost will be provided. Especially when the potentially dire medical condition of a vast tract of the NK population is taken into account. Maybe we will see a boon for manufacturers, but there will likely be an accompanying surge in healthcare costs, as well as major short and medium term shortages. All we do know is that the cost of german re-unification was in the trillions. Let us remember that the economic disparity is even bigger in this case and that the south has an even larger population to swallow at an approximate rate of 1:0.5

            You must be extremely insecure to bring japan into an
            article which has little to do with it, I get the impression that you lie awake at night reading your conspiracy theories, wondering what evil plot the Japanese have hatched to bring down the ‘great’, proud and sturdy korea. I hope, for your sake, that you do other things in your free time. Right now, despite 2 decades of stagnation in japan and high growth in korea, japan still has a larger gdp, a larger gdp per capita, a greater population, etc. if you want to believe that the addition of 22 million peasants will alter this balance, then go ahead, just remember that japan has been number 2 for a long while now and recently slipped beneath even india when accounting for economic power. They are not and never will be the dominant power in the region and (I hate to break this to you) neither will korea

          • Chucky3176

            You’re just trashing one guy, but he’s just one guy. People like Warren Buffet, Goldman Sachs, and number of other investors, pretty much say the same things.

            You have no ideal how rich North Korea is, only if they could open up and allow foreign companies to help them to dig them out. The $7 trillion reserves in natural resources is a very very conservative estimate. For instance, it’s estimated that NK may hold as much as $64 trillion worth of just rare earth alone, dwarfing China’s reserves by many times over.


            And that’s just rare earth. North Korea already have considerable amounts of gold reserves that are not reported to the IMF. NK’s gold reserves outstrip China’s, and they sell them to China at below market cost. Japanese should know this well, since Japan had significant gold mining activity in northern Korea during the colonial period. They used Korean slave labors to mine them and ship them to Japan where they were melted down and used for their war machine.


            North Korea is reported to hold 200 different types of valuable minerals, estimated by mining industry experts around the world.


            Minerals and mining are staples of North Korean income. It’s widely misreported that China is economically assisting North Korea, and giving them free money to make them stay afloat. This is furthest from the truth. North Korea is selling their treasures to the Chinese at below market prices in return for those Chinese goods. The Chinese are ripping them off, and North Korea knows it, yet they go back to selling to the Chinese, because they have no choice.

            North Korea’s shores, at Seohan Bay may hold significant amount of oil, rivaling Indonesia’s entire oil deposit.


            The oil deposits are speculation, but experts suspect that North Korea’s shores are an extension of the Chinese Bo Hai oil field. The Chinese fields are running out of oil, yet North Korea’s fields are virgin deposits if they are found. It’s just that they don’t have the technology to explorer and exploit the fields.

          • Chucky3176

            “japan still has a larger gdp, a larger gdp per capita, a greater population”

            First of all, I didn’t bring up Japan, Jim Rogers did in his interview.

            Second, Japan has a larger gdp because their population is 2.5 times South Korea’s. That gap would reduce if a united Korea suddenly increases to 75 million people. As for GDP per capita, even if there is no reunification of Korea’s, South Korea’s GDP per capital (nominal) will overtake Japan’s by 2030, says Japan’s own economic institute


            But I think this will occur much sooner, I predict by 2018, only because the value of Japanese Yen keeps shrinking, while value of Korean Won keeps rising.

          • realist

            I understand how economics works, takasar, but I don’t think it’s the most important thing. I would rather get a lower per capita GDP and see a decline in living standards if it would bring my country together. On a large scale, though, acquisition of North Korea and its resources would increase the total GDP and resources of Korea. Anyway, even though the average South Korean may need to make sacrifices, money, material, and greed are not the most important things to me and I don’t think they are the sole key to happiness. National pride is much more important to happiness. But that’s just me. Some people would burn their country down for a dollar; I realize that.

          • takasar1

            How can you determine national pride? Is it your country or
            theirs’? countries break up and merge continuously, just as they always have done throughout the centuries. The opinions of the people change as well, no one has any right to tell them what they may or may not be able to gain from a deal which opposes the majority of their short and medium term interests. China will soon be the most powerful nation in the world (economically) yet its people will still be middle income. Why should the people of south korea bear a huge 2 decade long burden just to bring in a few million peasants, a couple of minerals and a bit of derelict farmland?

          • realist

            National pride is easy to determine; if it is my countries’, I consider it mine! Your last sentence shows that it is just incredibly difficult for you to grasp the concept of personal sacrifice for national gain. I’m not saying you need to agree, but you aren’t even understanding what I’m saying. I’m talking about giving up everything I have if it meant doubling the size of my country and you are stuck on wondering why someone would bear an economic burden for no immediate return. Your previous statement that accused me of “obviously” not understanding economics was stuck on this as well. I spoke about economic sacrifice for a bigger nation and you replied with why that would be economically painful instead of being a great immediate return-investment. Get it this time, a sacrifice is what real men do altruistically for the country and its future; it is not a short-term investment to get yourself fatter and more comfortable like a rich man’s neutered dog. But in any case, if you don’t agree and you think that standard of living and money are the most important, we’ll see how many South Korean think like you. I’m sure if the majority don’t want North Korea, and refuse to pay for it, China would happily pick up the bill. North Korea’s basically Mao-era China and Beijing will whip them into shape in no time flat.

          • Guy Forget

            This is quite interesting. I’ve been saying something similar to this in other discussions. Why does any country need to import migrant workers to grow the economy? If you don’t have enough workers anymore to support your industry, then can’t you just let it shrink and allow a country to operate within in it’s means and resources? What’s wrong with doing that? I feel like all these excuses to import millions of foreigners to work to help sustain and grow the economy is a bunch of BS. Many countries bring in millions of foreign workers and immigrants, and yet their economy still sucks or it declines even more later on. I truly believe that a country would operate best when they operate within their own limits. It’s when you we start to get greedy and want to bite off more than we can chew, that we start compromise everything in order to make more money when what we have is really more than enough to live off.

          • takasar1

            The problem is economists kowtowing to accountants and falling into this GDP obsession where, so long as it grows by a few percent every year, all is swell. That’s one reason for example, why the last two decades have been termed lost decades in Japan, even though the Japanese have done quite well out of it individually.

        • Raymond

          Except there are already people living on every territory on Earth. Where would you go? To the new territory? Unless you wipe them out like how every European country has done to the Americas, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Palestine etc, etc, you’re actually taking on the burden of developing their land. So now you’d have to put your clothes back on, walk back to your house, go back to work, and pay taxes to help those people. Quote from South Korean comment “To connect with the continent, we need reunification…but…we don’t need North Koreans. We only need their land. That’s my honest feeling.” South Koreans don’t plan on killing off all North Koreans, nor do they plan on taking on the burden of helping them. Nothing wrong with letting them be, as long as they don’t start war.

          • realist

            Are you… familiar at all about how countries get larger? It’s not about killing the people so you can take their land; especially, in this case, they are the same people, separated by only 65 years difference. When China formed, the Qin nation assimilated the nations around it; it didn’t kill all their people (but it did kill all the people who fought against being assimilated) and replace it with Qin people but it simply made them Qin people as well. That is how a country gets larger. You are thinking in terms of personal gain. If you can kill someone and take his land, you gain economically. I am talking about personal economic sacrifice for national gain; the only personal gain here the the pride of calling a bigger nation yours.

  • Reunification?….Did “Girls Generation” breakup?….K-Pop is ONE COUNTRY…ONE PEOPLE

  • Chucky3176

    Disappointing numbers which was created by lack of education on the true state of North Korea and the North Korean people. Many, if not, most Koreans have no ideal about North Korea. All that they’re fed from the media and the South Korean education system is that North Korea is a poor but misunderstood country. If you see dramas and movies hardly anything is shown of how the real average North Koreans live. Instead North Koreans, played by South Korean actors, are portrayed as heroic spies in unrealistic romanticized versions. It’s simply disgusting why the entertainment and movie industry failed to bring these issues forward.

    • North Korea in cinema has some of the best looking spies/operatives

    • bigmamat

      I just watched a segment on HBO’s Vice about North Korean defectors living in South Korea. Something like 80% of them are women. Most of them live in public housing that is set up for North Koreans. They rarely assimilate into society. South Koreans look down on them, their backward ways, their accents, and I expect because most of them are women. However, at the end of the program they featured a television show that was now airing and centered on defectors. It is an attempt to change the perception of North Koreans with the SK general public.

      • Chucky3176

        bigmamat, the recent poll shows that majority of North Korean defectors are happy with their lives in South Korea, as they get a lot of government support and aid.


        The list of difficulty they run into are many. Language is one of them since the southern dialects are full of English loan words, a totally different culture, and a very competitive capitalist society which many defectors don’t understand because they came from a society that depended everything upon the government.

        Also many if not most, suffer terrible signs of post traumatic stress disorder from experiencing horrendous suffering and abuses. Many need psychological counselling and treatment, as well as help with loneliness and guilt (guilt of leaving their loved ones behind).

        Another problem is debt. To get to South Korea from China, they had to pay thousands of dollars (on the average $10,000) to pay their brokers, who will guide them out of China, onto Vietnam/Laos/Myanmar, than onto Thailand (first country to offer them freedom) which represents thousands of miles.

        North Korean defectors to South Korea, as soon as they settle in the South, receive tens of thousands of dollars in settlement money as well as government housing. The North Korean defectors use this settlement money that was given to them to help them settle into South Korean society, to pay off their brokers. This puts them into tremendous financial constraint and stress, even before they start their lives in South Korea. They feel high pressure to find jobs and make money as quickly as possible to settle down, and also to bring their other family members from North Korea. But since most of them are not educated and do not have relevant applicable job experiences, they are destined to extremely low paying jobs with no future. So this leads to another problem for them – low self esteem brought on by overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and shortcomings. It is a very high hill to climb for them.

        80% of North Korean defectors are women because

        1) All the men, from 17 years old and on, have to serve 12 years in the military, as North Korea has a 1.3 million man army with only 22 million population. They scraped the barrel to draft every young men they can find.

        2) North Korean women are valuable commodity in China, so where they are sold off as human sex slaves for $400. So human traffickers on both sides of the Chinese/North Korean border work hard to lure and exploit these vulnerable women fleeing persecution and hunger. It’s much each easier to make money off of the weak and the vulnerable.

        I believe you are referring to this show.


        The show called “On my way to meet you”, where 90% of the women featured on the show were sold off to the Chinese farmers but managed to escape.

        The horror stories they tell of North Korea and their time in China would make was a wakeup call for South Koreans to take more interest in this subject and become more involved in helping the North Korean people. This is a very popular show, and fortunately, I notice that there is far more awareness in South Korea about the plight in North Korea. So this poll result surprises me a bit.

        • chuckcrap

          yet another load of bs from the always reliable chucky using news articles and youtube videos as highly reliable sources.

          • Chucky3176

            Instead of just claiming bs, why don’t you explain to us why it’s bs? Just because you say it’s bs, doesn’t mean a hill of beans.

          • bigmamat

            At the risk of sounding stupid or even making a “generalization” which I know is frowned upon in a comment thread…Koreans don’t seem to have much time to worry about North Koreans and assimilation. Most of them don’t seem to have much time for anything but making money and trying to improve their status in life. I thought America was a competitive society but SK has us beat hands down. It looks too me like Koreans spend an awful lot of time just trying to climb over each other trying to get somewhere. They just don’t appear to have a lot of time to think about someone else’s misfortune.

          • Chucky3176

            I think that’s due to poor education in South Korea, about the subject of North Korea. Very few things are taught about North Korea, and very few real things about North Korea are shown on South Korean media. North Korea is too far off from South Korean minds. Also, many South Koreans have tuned off on North Korea because they think it’s all just propaganda from the government, and think North Korea is not that bad. Plus, when you’re under severe stress to pass the next big test to get into university which determines which economic class you’ll be placed in, or when you’re in the office 15 hours a day dealing with unreasonable bosses and customers, and having to put up with daily traffic day in and day out….. your mind goes numb and don’t have any time to think about anything else other than to survive one more day.

            Things like North Korea, leisure, hobbies, self-development.. they come when South Koreans are given some breathing time to relax.

          • linette lee

            “Very few things are taught about North Korea, and very few real things about North Korea are shown on South Korean media”

            Stop making excuses for the South Koreans. There is this thing called internet. Many of them are too indulge in living a worry free, comfortable, materialistic lifestyle. They can careless about the North Korean people.

          • Chucky3176

            I’m sorry, but when you say this, “many of them are too indulge in living a worry free, comfortable, materialistic lifestyle.” you don’t realize how you’re wrong.

            Many South Koreans will disagree with that comment and say you don’t know what you’re talking about. support the North Korean government

          • One for all

            This is one of the rare times I find myself agreeing with all of Chucky’s points.

            If you don’t want to believe the media or what any yahoo is saying on the net, you can look up Andrei Lankov and his articles/talks/interviews about the plight of North Koreans in the process of escaping and their experiences after they’ve arrived in ine South.

          • linette lee

            I know the horror and the torture they went through. I think many Chinese the ones that read about world news know about that too.

          • One for all

            Many South Koreans are either uninformed, grossly misinformed, or just aren’t interested in matters relating to the North.

            It is not something that is actively taught in school, nor is something it that has been objectively covered in the media (until recently) or even mainstream society.

            You are right that many South Koreans have other priorities, many of which may have materialistic roots/tendencies…..but for the most part, you can’t blame them because that is what they were brought up with, compared to their parents and grandparents who would have a more sympathetic view towards reunification.

          • linette lee

            So are people in the first world western countries. They were brought in a materialistic world, but they are very much aware of the suffering of the less fortunate. Just please stop making excuses. You can’t insist that in this time 2014 with internet people don’t get informed properly.

          • Chucky3176

            “but they are very much aware of the suffering of the less fortunate”

            Sorry girl, but many Western people can’t even distinguish north and south Korea, nevermind knowing about what North Koreans go through. Yeah, even with the internet, outside of Korea, knowledge about North Korea is appalling. Plus most of the help that are being done for North Korean defectors are done by South Koreans. The only thing the west care about North Korea, is the nuclear weapons program. The brunt of helping with their escape, providing refuge, and paying for North Korean defectors are all mostly done by South Korean civic action groups. So are most of the charities for North Koreans. The rest of the world could care less about persecuted North Koreans. Wrong analogy to use.

          • One for all

            Most people in first world countries don’t give a shit about the plight of people in third world countries.

            Where were these people in the Sri Lankan genocide? Rwandan genocide? Syria? Iraq? Kosovo?

            Where were first world people when tens of millions of Chinese people died in the great leap forward?

          • I had two family members travel to Rwanda during the crises
            in their capacity as engineers, building refugee camps delivering aid, and burying the dead all at personal cost to their sanity,for over six months.While we at home raised as much money as we could for the relief efforts.

          • bigmamat

            People in the west give huge amounts of money and time for various types of relief efforts. The kind of help you are hinting at would have to come from western governments not “the people”. Let me also remind you that the U.S. eventually intervened in Kosovo after the American people made it known that their government should help. How successful and well executed that intervention turned out is another debate. Governments, NATO and the UN issue sanctions and attempt to pressure governments all the time to end internal conflicts. Military intervention is not always the best answer and often results in the loss of more life. Volunteers from western countries go to the third world all the time, doctors, engineers and ordinary citizens. Get off your high horse the west cannot fix every problem in the third world nor should they.

      • TheKorean

        You’re lieing here, and I’m a South Korean. Funny how some people think they “know” Korea like linette lee or bigmamat because they heard or saw something.

        • bigmamat

          I”m sorry. Was the segment from the HBO Vice a complete fabrication? Was it exaggerated, embellished? I’d like to know from a South Korean. I understand you can’t believe everything in the media. Somehow I kind of trusted the show. It was shot in Korea. I’d seen another segment last season about people being smuggled out through China and then Thailand to SK. You have to remember I have to rely on translated material and English material for my sources. I appreciate a Korean who can communicate in English setting me straight if I’m wrong. So tell me what it is that I’m not understanding.

          • chucky3176

            Never seen the show, but strictly based on your brief description, sounds about right to me.

          • bigmamat

            I haven’t seen this segment either. Both shows were about defectors specifically.

          • Chucky3176

            If this is the show that you are talking about,


            Then I have a big problem. It’s the same same old documentary on evil North Korea building nuclear weapons, marching jackboots, Pyongyang, North Koreans crazily clapping and shouting brain washed idol worship of Kim family.

            This is the only face that America seems to know about North Koreans, and the only face that America seems to show about North Korea. Make it look like North Koreans are crazy Asiatic lunatics that fit West’s stereotypes of Asiatic lunatic human robots.

            They make no effort into separating North Korean government from North Korean people, showing what the real North Koreans are like, the terrible things they have to go through, why they have to clap and cheer the Kim family, what they think (yes they have feelings too imagine that), and what they go through as people. None whatsoever.

            And last of all, showing North Korea the way it is, by visiting Pyongyang? That’s a North Korea that North Korean regime puts on as a show. The real North Korea is outside of Pyongyang where majority of the real North Korean people lives.

            This show is a typical American documentary farce.

          • Chucky3176

            This is the reality of North Korea, not the HBO version.


            Homeless North Korean 6 year old starving orphan, found on streets of North Korea in the middle of winter, wandering aimlessly searching for food and warmth. The people who saw the video of the boy, decided to rescue him, plucked him off the streets, smuggled him through China, and SEA. And this the same boy in South Korea, in his first day in School:


            Watch the clip from 1:47 when he’s introduced to the grade class. The teacher introduces him by saying he is from North Korea. The immediate response from the classroom is one of shock and fear. One of the kids says “North Korea? I hate North Korea”. The look of complete terror in those kid’s eyes, as one kid says to the teacher, “Teacher! North Korea fired missiles at South Korea!”. But the teacher makes absolutely no effort to teach the class and explain, and just keeps repeating, “be nice to him and get along together”. One of the girl says “North and South Korea fought in a war long time ago, and the North separated”. The reporter asks one of the girls, what do you now think about North Korean boys after you’ve met one? She replies, “I don’t like it, not a good feeling.” She continued, “When I saw him for the first time, his face looked strange, and I couldn’t understand his accent”.

            The scene played out in this classroom, is exactly what is facing South and North Korea. Those kids in the classroom should have been educated and be prepared to receive this North Korean boy, but very little efforts are done to educate those kids.

          • linette lee

            This baby boy he is so cute.

            Shame on the South Korea public school system. In the year 2014 internet era they don’t understand what’s happening to the people in North Korea right next door? The Koreans that know about it should go on the South Korea internet and bomb them with criticism that the public school is not educating their kids about the crisis inside North Korea. Get on the South Korea gov’t webpage and bomb them with messages criticizing why it isn’t being taught in the school?

          • bigmamat

            I didn’t see this show. I’ve seen two one had the reporter sneaking across the Chinese border into Thailand with 3 defectors. The other was just last week shot in South Korea talking to several defectors. It showed an apartment building populated with defectors.

          • You Shouldn’t Do That

            You’re censuring millions and making an argument based on 8 year olds who don’t understand the complexities of the North and South Korean relations? And you’re using a documentary as proof, one whose premise is based on the “otherness” of the child to start with. The students were explicitly told he was from North Korea because it fit the narrative.

    • death_by_ivory

      “portrayed as heroic spies in unrealistic romanticized versions.”
      You mean like Iris?No matter how good the series was,it was way too unrealistic.The NK side looked better fed and dressed than the SK.

  • linette lee

    These South Koreans who voted against reunification are selfish and cheap. I bet they are the same people complaining about China paying billions of dollars annually supplying and supporting the North Korea regime feeding the North Korean children. They are worst than China, They watch their own brothers, their own families, millions and millions of children suffering and dying of starvation while they indulge themselves in expensive lifestyle. Whenever North Korea is mentioned these South Koreans just conveniently blame China. Sick.

    • takasar1

      The world conveniently blames China

      • Guest

        I would say that most of the South Koreans would say: “Why not US and China (or Japan) pay for that?”

        • takasar1

          Messed up way of thinking

        • Sillian

          Huh? Don’t just make up stuff.

      • Insomnicide

        In the Cold War, everything was blamed on the Soviets.
        But now, the Soviet Union collapsed and they no longer have an ultimate evil enemy to hate on. So everyone’s looking for the next bogeyman they. China seems convenient because it’s non-white, claims to be communist, and has a lot of government problems.

    • Sillian

      China spends billions of dollars annually to help North Korean people? Where did you get that from?

      You are talking as if South Korea isn’t doing anything. LMB administration changed nearly unconditional aid to conditional aid in 2008. It’s up to the North Korean regime. PGH administration is still giving humanitarian aid to North Korea.


      • takasar1

        the aid in fuel, goods and currency begs to differ

        • Sillian

          What exactly are you referring to?

      • Facts

        “China’s economic assistance to North Korea accounts for about half of all Chinese foreign aid. Beijing provides the aid directly to Pyongyang, thereby enabling it to bypass the United Nations.”


        • Chucky3176

          He asked you, where are you getting that Chinese government sent billions of aid to “North Korean people”, not the North Korean government and military.

          Also, that Chinese “aid” isn’t completely free. Recently North Korea executed Jang Seok Thaek who was responsible of selling North Korean natural resources to China. North Korea charged him with selling the resources to China at extremely low, below market prices, in exchange for Chinese goods. After that, the trade between China and North Korea collapsed, and even the shipment of oil has stopped. Since China is the only one North Korea can trade with, North Korea will have to restart the selling of the resources at below market prices, to stave off complete collapse.

          Everyone here will be surprised, but North Koreans hate and do not trust the Chinese more than anybody, due to North Korean belief that China has betrayed North Korea, and that they can’t trust the Chinese backstabbers who have been corrupted by capitalism and trading with the enemy South Korea. Also average North Koreans hate the Chinese tourists for throwing food and candies at North Korean children for laughs. Even the Americans are looked upon more favorably than the Chinese, except that the North Koreans fear the US more than anybody.

          North Korea and China are only allies only out of necessity to keep their national interests for both governments.

      • linette lee

        Doesn’t look like your president is taking improving relation with North Korea as their priority.

        • Chucky3176

          She offered North Korea a grand bargain. Stop the nuclear and missile weapons development, let separated Korean families from the Korean War, to see each other, and stop the war threats against South Korea, and South Korea will restart the aid. And if North Korea wants to go further, if they open up their country, then the offer was that South Korea will flood the North Korea with aid and investment. Those are not exactly outrageous requests for return for aids. Guess what North Korea did? They not only refuse, they threatened South Korea with flames from hell and called the president an American whore. The response back to North Korea was, “we cannot give you unconditional aid which you will use to help destroy us, not help the North Korean people”.

          It’s common sense 101, linette.

          • linette lee

            What is your suggestion for a peaceful solution that will help the North Korean people without war in Northeast Asia?

          • Chucky3176

            The only way for peace in Northeast Asia is for the current North Korean government and their policies to be gone.
            North Korean people need a better government which will look out for the interests of all the North Korean people. Plus, if there’s a reasonable North Korean government in power, it will also be a plus for China.

          • linette lee

            How do you make North Korean government “gone” ? By starving them to death will work? How long will that take?

          • Chucky3176

            I already laid out 5 steps for China, in another response to you. Here it is again.

            If China really wanted to do something they can do these

            1) Stop all trade with North Korea (trade with North Korea for China, is insignificant)

            2) Stop all oil shipments to North Korea, or any other aids to North Korean government and military.

            3) Support and stop vetoing UN sanctions

            4) Setup a North Korean refugee camp in Yanbian province under the UN, accept all North Korean refugees, don’t send them back, and let the UN/South Korea/US, process those North Korean refugees to other countries. Let my people go free.

            5) Accept the reality that the current North Korean government must collapse and be replaced.

            If China do this, then North Korean government will collapse in matter of few months, since North Korea’s only source of oil and food for the upper echelon and military, is China.

          • realist

            Yeah, you forgot the other steps.
            6) Withdraw all claims to territories with neighbors and apologize.
            7) Scrap all military aircraft, ships, submarines, tanks.
            8) Turn over all nuclear weapons to United States.
            9) Help United States isolate Russia over Ukraine by nixing all trade with Russia.
            10) Forfeit all UN voting rights and or whichever way the US votes.
            11) Send military to Middle East to die in place of US soldiers when killing the locals
            12) Declare pacifist constitution, requesting American protection in all military matters.
            13) Host American military with many bases throughout China.
            14) Remove all tariffs from American imports and revalue the Yuan at whatever the US says it should be at.
            Anything else? LOL Funny enough for you? If the US wants to end the problem in North Korea, all it has to do is take its military out of South Korea so the Chinese won’t need North Korea as a buffer against American troops. Then, China can take the necessary steps to de-escalate the situation.

          • Chucky3176

            wow, over reaching much? I never asked for China to give up its sovereignty or its military, or even its territorial claims. All I ask is that China honor the UN sanctions on North Korea to bring that impossible government (which by the way, does no favors for China) down and treat North Korean refugees humanely. Those have nothing to do with what you wrote.

          • realist

            It absolutely does. China uses North Korea as a buffer against the US, which is hellbent to be the military ruler of the region, which is China’s backyard. If North Korea were to collapse and to be absorbed into South Korea now, the US military would be at China’s doorstep. Also, China has no obligation to help South Korea; it’s looking out for itself. It has no need to honor and UN sanction because China is part of the UN and if China (or Russia) vetoes it, it is no longer a UN sanction. If South Korea wants to be whole, it needs to help itself and not rely on China to put the Chinese people in a dangerous situation to help South Korea. It should help itself by evicting the US military so China no longer has to put itself in a dangerous situation as it allows North Korea to collapse be absorbed. If the US wants to stop effing things up, it can just leave. China is doing what it needs to do to protect itself. And I hope Linette knows I was being sarcastic on my points in the previous post…

          • Chucky3176

            Removing the US troops from S.Korea, how does that help S.Korea, other than to encourage North Korea to miscalculate into thinking that now that the US is gone, they can start another war in Korea to reunify the Korean peninsula under North Korea? Which of course, will not happen because they will lose. But nevertheless it will create hundreds of thousands of deaths. Sole purpose of US troops in Korea is to prevent a war. And I don’t see how is China honoring sanctions on North Korea going to hurt or endanger Chinese people? And if North Korea collapses, US troops will not cross the DMZ into north. There are only 25,000 US troops, mostly support troops, with only 4000 combat troops. I would say if China facilitates and allows Korean unification under South Korean terms, there would be no need for US troops in Korea, and the US troops will be asked to leave and they’ll go home. Good for China as well. Isn’t that what China is worried most about, US troops in Chinese border? That won’t happen however. How does unification of Korea hurt China at all? So keep on educating me on why this is no good for China.

          • linette lee

            Chucky, I honestly feel it’s better for USA troops to leave SK. USA’s goal is to militarily encircle China to contain China, even the American politicians talk about that. China can’t have USA set up military base right at its border with missiles aiming at Beijing troops ready to cross into China. It’s a big threat.

            When USA troops leave China will stabilize NK because they want a stable North East Asia and not war that will hurts China’s economy. Nobody wants war in their own soil. And you don’t have to starve anyone.

          • Chucky3176

            As I mention above, USA troops leaving SK, is what NK wants and is waiting for. Why would SK reward NK like that? Soon as US leaves, NK will miscalculate into thinking that that’s a sign to attack South Korea. If USA troops leave, explain to me how China will “stabilize” North Korea? Yes, the US has a surround China policy now, but they will never engage China on Chinese mainland, over Korea. They didn’t do it in Korea War, why would they do that in the future? That doesn’t even make any sense, unless you’re severely paranoid.

          • realist

            That is what the US wants to you believe so you can stay a pawn in their game. Will North Korea miscalculate and attack? Let’s think about this. North Korea currently possesses the ability to completely bombard and destroy Seoul by missiles. It also have missiles that can strike Japan. But doesn’t, because it understands the the consequences will be its end. If the US leaves, do you think North Korea now believes that it can do these things without nuclear weapons flying back at them? Especially if China threatens that with attack, do you think that won’t be enough to make them understand that they will still be destroyed in retaliation of attack? The only effect that the US military in SK has is to keep China on edge and make North Korea an angry racist country. It is not protecting SK because even without it, there won’t be an attack.

          • linette lee

            USA will engage China if they have conflicts. It will hurt China more because it’s on China’s soil. USA will have advantage over China and China don’t want that. It’s like imagine if China set up military base at USA border. USA will see that as major threat. They will never allow that.
            China wouldn’t want any war right at its border. So now your people should urge your president come up some kind of treaty to cooperate with China to stabilize NK once USA troops leave. IT’s better for the economy for all three countries. We don’t want war on our soil.

          • One for all

            USFK leaving would be disastrous for the South Korean economy in the short term (not sure about the long term).

            *First on the list to collapse would be the sub-economy that has serviced USFK for the last 60+ years – which would mean tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people losing their livelihoods.

            *The massive patch of land in the middle of Seoul would need to be redeveloped into something. Korea’s biggest and most ambitious redevelopment plan at Yongsan recently failed spectacularly and went bust (losing around $30-40 billion)….and it is only a fraction of what would be needed to redevelop the base area should USFK leave.

            *Foreign investors would be more wary of putting capital into the South Korean economy due to there being no deterrence from erratic North Korean provocations.

            *Korea has enjoyed over 60 years of subsidized spending on its defense and military….picking up the multi-billion yearly tab if USFK leave will only put more strain on the local economy and government budget.

            Korea is basically backed into a corner with regards to USFK….and the only viable option for the foreseeable future would be to continue having USFK on its soil.

          • chucky3176

            I agree with everything except for your points on losing hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the point about the Yongsan base camp.

            There are no hundreds of thousands of jobs depended on US military economy. Maybe thousands, which includes businesses that cater to US military people. But much of it is subsidized by Korean government, which picks up half the cost of stationing the US bases. Korea is not exactly like Philippines 1986 when the US left Philippines, devastating Philippines economy. As for Yongsan, the US military already well on its way to move the base out of there, further south to Pyongteck, where a new base camp is being built. Korean developers have been eagerly waiting for the US military to move out of the downtown area. Even with the development scheme failure, land in Seoul is just too precious that US leaving Seoul is going to do much. Look at all the businesses at Yongsan which saw many customers from US base. They’re not really complaining that hard, because the impact is minimal, and they know that a redevelopment of the area, will bring far more profits to them.

            But I do agree with you about risk of foreign investment fleeing South Korea. That’s because as soon as the US leaves, all the credit rating agencies will rate down South Korean as a risk investment, due to possibility of war going up in risk. That will put serious short term pressure on Korean currency, and Korean stock market and economy. But the other flip side is that if things do stabilize, as what realist says will happen, due to China getting involved more to steer North Korea into a peaceful role, all the foreign investments will come back, and much more. But that is a big if, since I’m not convinced China will do that even if the US left.

            And also agree on military spending skyrocketing for S.Korea, which will put extra pressure on the economy. The flipside is that if the tensions ease and there is indeed permanent peace in Korea, then the defence spending will go down and there will be no more need to spend so much on defence.

          • One for all

            The original projection for relocation to Pyeongtaek was 2014, then it was moved to 2015, and then 2016. The last major update on the site and relocation plans was over 2 years ago now…In my opinion it’s just going to be another Sejong City – partial relocation with the majority of personnel remaining in Seoul….if the relocation even happens at all.

            With regards to the people and businesses that would be affected by the move, I think you’re underestimating how interwoven the base is into Yongsan-gu and the surrounding gu regions. There are thousands of businesses that rely heavily on making money from USFK personnel…and I estimate many of these businesses will have more than one employee.

            These businesses often have to source their goods and merchandise from somewhere else(usually another local business), creating a potential chain effect as the secondary and tertiary businesses will also be affected by USFK leaving.

            Then we move on to property prices. Landlords in Yongsan have enjoyed being able to charge rent premiums to USFK and surrounding businesses catering to USFK for decades, knowing they will always get occupants for their buildings…rent in Yongsan is among the highest in Seoul (if not the highest), basically making the Yongsan property market a bubble economy within Seoul’s artificial property bubble. If USFK leave the area, I predict the Yongsan property bubble will crash spectacularly as most people won’t be able to pay the premiums the landlords are demanding.

            That land is currently the most valuable and most expensive piece of land in Korea. It will cost any potential investors tens of billions of dollars just to get the lease alone, that won’t be happening anytime soon.

          • Chucky3176

            “I think you’re underestimating how interwoven the base is into Yongsan-gu”

            Considering that the move of the US bases out of Yongsan and into Pyongtaek, is being financed by the Korean government who has reserved $12-$13 billion for the move, I am sure the financial aspects on the economy of the area was studied before such a scheme was proposed. If the Koreans wanted the US troops out of the area that badly, enough to pay that much money into the relocation and build up at Pyongtaek, then I’m not exactly convinced that the impact of the US troops leaving Yongsan will be that great of a hurt.

          • realist

            I don’t think this discussion is striking at the main point of the US military in SK. The main point is not economic impact or standard of living and investments; the main point is, I would never willingly allow a foreign military to base itself in my country and have these foreign troops walk around with authority over my people, the people who are home. This is about pride; I could live poor and proud if it came down to it but not like this. Letting a foreign country keep its military on your soil is like letting another guy keep his diqk in your wife. I wouldn’t have it no matter what the guy is supposedly doing for me. Just about the only thing that’s worse is becoming allies with a country that nuked you twice AND hosting its military LOL.

          • chucky3176

            realist, linette, colour me skeptical that everything will turn rose colour once the US troops leave Korea. I get skeptical, I hope you understand, when I see scenes like this where hundreds of Chinese illegal fishing ships have the brazen audacity to moor their ships right on Korean shores without permission.




            Now just imagine if there’s no US troops in Asia, giving free reign to China to do whatever they want. If China can’t keep or respect international law and respect other country’s soverign territory while the US troops are in Asia, what makes me think that China will honour Korea’s soverignty once the US troops leave?

          • realist

            The US doesn’t protect SK from illegal fishing; the SK coast guard is responsible for that. US troops aren’t keeping China from doing anything to SK; they might be keeping China from taking Diaoyu from Japan and some stuff in SE Asia, but they aren’t doing anything for SK. Attempting to hedge the US against China in Asia is not a long-term strategy. As natural order has it, China has a massive geographical advantage and it is awakening from a period of weakness. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes too powerful for the US to deal with militarily in Asia. To use the US as a hedge against China is to wait for this ship to sink and when it does, you’ll have to trust China to rule the region anyway. The natural order is that large, powerful countries will have immense influence over their neighborhoods and the small countries there will make concessions to it from time to time. It’s unfair, but it is how the world works. Large countries and small countries don’t stand on even ground. It is impossible for a small ex-soviet nation to stare down Russia as an equal, impossible for a Latin-American country to stare down the US as an equal, and very soon, it will be obvious why small Asian nations cannot stare China in the eye as an equal. They do so now by standing on American shoulders but this is not the natural order and with China’s rise, coupled with its geographical advantage, the natural order will be restored. You’ll need to trust China eventually anyway; it’s smarter to do so on the friendliest terms (more of a warning for Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, not really for SK).

          • chucky3176

            ^ perfect reason why none of the Asian neighbors really trusts China, and why they all look towards the US for cover. Chinese government newspaper, Wen Wei Po, just published a news article saying that Asia will be united under Chinese rule by 2060. It says by 2020, there will be war with Taiwan to take it by force. From 2028 to 2030, a war with Vietnam will take place over the Spratley’s which will be taken by China. Then from 2035 to 2040, China will start a war with India to take the Himalayas and consolidate China’s rule over Tibet. Then from 2040 to 2045, China will wage war with Japan, over the Senkaku’s and take it by force. And if Mongolia does not agree to peaceful unification with China, China will wage war on Mongolia and take it by force. And from 2055 to 2060, China will war with Russia, over the territory that it lost to the Russians, and to recover them all.

            This is the Chinese government paper that prints this types of stories all the time.

            If you were in Korea’s position, seeing and hearing about all this, which country would you see influencing Asia, the US or the China?

          • chucky3176

            Sorry, I meant

            “If you were in Korea’s position, seeing and hear about all this from China, which country would you like to see influencing Asia, the US, or China?”

          • realist

            Well, that is a very aggressive person writing that article. There aggressive people in every country. Some Americans have written about neutering Russia’s and China’s militaries to rid the world of evil. Indians have written about winning a 2-front war with China and Pakistan at the same time. Japanese have written about dividing China into several smaller countries. I think that as China rises, war will not happen, but all of the events that this aggressive person has said will occur peacefully, because just like the US is now, China will become so powerful, no one in Asia will fight it even if it means making concessions on islands. That is the natural order. Now, I realize it may be easier for Korea to want the US to rule the region, because the US is a guest here and can be extremely generous giving its allies the natural resources of the area at China’s expense while China cannot be so generous because it needs those resources. But nonetheless, the issue is not which superpower SK prefers to preside over the region; the issue is that SK should see that regardless of what it wants, the current trend and natural flow of things indicate that China will regain the position that it has held over Asia for millenniums. The question is, what are the terms of China’s return in respect to SK? Will SK be seen in Chinese eyes as a country that helped this transition and should be held as a close ally, a country that was indifferent to it, or a country that doggedly tried to impede China’s return while hugging the leg of America, thus deserving of Chinese punishment?

          • realist

            Wow wow, hold on. I didn’t read the whole list. Mongolia and Russia are not happening. Mongolia is a buffer between Russia and China and helps keep mutual trust and diminish border disagreements and it is just insane to try to take territory from Russia, whether by force or by peaceful coercion. The person is not completely sane and you can’t use him to represent what China wants or thinks will happen. On the bright side, I did notice that although there is a big, militarily ambitious list, there are no conflicts with Korea listed :)

          • realist

            Hold up. I just realized that what I wrote kinda sounds like, “Just wait till the US can’t hold power anymore then China will take everything from under your feet and that is natural.” That is NOT what I meant. I meant that things will basically resemble times before the West arrived in Asia. In those times, no country in Asia dreamed of challenging China as an equal, but China did not invade them either (as evident by their existence today) and things worked out. (Japan is excluded from this statement; they barked at China from across the sea, Kublai Khan sent the navy to shut them up, and a storm blew away the Chinese navy… twice LOL)

          • Racist bozos are brainless

            smart, pragmatic observation & true as well ! China is no one’s angel.

          • realist

            No problem. Let me explain. The US is extremely power-hungry. If North Korea collapses, the US can send many more troops under any excuse (such as for peace-keeping or ensuring the the transition is smooth) and they can and will cross the DMZ into North Korea. When I said South Korea should ask the Us to leave, I wasn’t being completely serious because I have no confidence that South Korea is in control of the situation. The US and its big bad military will not leave and give excuse after excuse and SK does not have the force to evict them. They want to stay and they want control the region, and if reunification occurs, they will see it as a huge opportunity to station troops right at China’s door. So basically, it comes down to trust. The region can de-escalate in 2 ways. 1. Trust is on China, that after the US military leaves, it will reign in North Korea and not allow it to start a war. Or 2. Trust is on the US, in which case China allows NK to collapse, SK to absorb it, US to oversee it, and trust the the US leaves instead of occupying it and knocking at China’s door. 1. Is not in the US agenda and 2. Is just too much for China to believe. So sorry, but your country is torn in half because of a chess game between 2 (or 3 if you count Russia) big boys…

          • Chucky3176

            Sorry dude, when you say US is “power hungry” and that they’ll somehow attack China, I find that hard to take seriously. US likes to attack little bitty countries like lraq and Afghanistan where they think they will win decisively. They don’t attack big countries like Russia and China. Never will happen.

          • realist

            You got a point, but I didn’t mean that the US wants to border China to attack China. Honestly, in a ground war, that is stupid beyond Bush. BUT the US likes to intimidate people. It likes to constantly remind people they they are surrounded by US power so they better play ball. And bordering China will mean that they have another area in which they can spy on China by flying drones or adding radar to check on Chinese aircraft. Basically, it is not good for China, but it will not mount to a full-on assault.

          • linette lee

            I will write down all your request and translate them into Chinese and mail it to brother Xi Jinping.

    • Chucky3176

      Correction, China sends oil and arms to North Korean government (to prop them up), not the North Korean people, against UN sanctions. Average North Koreans don’t have electricity, can’t drive a car, eat rotten corn cobs, and have no heat in their homes, so they gain no benefit from Chinese oil. All verified by 26,000 North Korean defectors who managed to escape to South Korea via China (while hiding from Chinese police), testifying that they never saw one dime of $12 billion aid that South Korea sent to North Korea from 1998 to 2008. Instead North Korean government, thanks to South Korean money and backed by Chinese help at the UN (vetoing every sanctions against North Korea), built nuclear arms and missiles. Thank you, schmucks. Meanwhile, what help has China given to North Korean people other than sending them back to their deaths when they try to escape North Korea? I got nothing against the Chinese people, after all it’s just the repressive government that sucks, not the people. But I do have a problem with Chinese who defend the indefensible actions of the Chinese government at all cost. And that’s you.

      • chuckcrap

        Yes because defectors would obviously offer an objective and non-biased view of a nation they just defected from.

        • Chucky3176

          Translation: “I only believe what Chinese government says”.

          So where are your sources of information, please tell us.

      • Voodoo

        and yet, China remains one of the key routes for defectors to reach South Korea, how does that figure?

        • Chucky3176

          What’s to figure? China is the only route available. Defectors don’t choose that route if there are others available.

      • linette lee


        Chucky, China is also EXTREMELy upset with North Korea nuclear arms. China hopes for a stable peninsula. You South Koreans are giving too much credit to China thinking China has TOTAL control with North Korea military power. China has been aiding the economy of NK and food do get to their people. Not a lot but enough so that millions don’t perish every year. There’s nothing China can do how Fat kim distribute the food supply. But his people are getting something.

        So you are saying China should cut ties with North Korea and stop providing aid? You know that’s not the peaceful way to do it. It will drive the North Korea to take drastic actions and most likely South Korea will get the worst it. You don’t have to worry about China. China can defend itself against North Korea.

        • Chucky3176

          China has been extremely upset at North Korea before many times, and it’s always been back to business as usual once things settle down, until next time North Korea flares up again. Also, I agree that China is fed up with North Korea, and vice versa (read below, my response to poster named “Facts”, and that governments of China and North Korea hate each other, but nevertheless deals with each other because both have what they need. That’s why I don’t believe the Chinese policy will ever change, nor North Korea’s policy will ever change.

          If China really wanted to do something they can do these

          1) Stop all trade with North Korea (trade with North Korea for China, is insignificant)

          2) Stop all oil shipments to North Korea, or any other aids to North Korean government and military.

          3) Support and stop vetoing UN sanctions

          4) Setup a North Korean refugee camp in Yanbian province under the UN, accept all North Korean refugees, don’t send them back, and let the UN/South Korea/US, process those North Korean refugees to other countries. Let my people go free.

          5) Accept the reality that the current North Korean government must collapse and be replaced.

          If China do this, then North Korean government will collapse in matter of few months, since North Korea’s only source of oil and food for the upper echelon and military, is China.

          • That’s the ideal case, but if that happen, North Korea will attack China first and foremost for their “betrayal of the ideology”. That’s what China is afraid of. They have enough social unrest by themselves already. The support to North Korea is a small price to China to keep the US far away from its border. What about the North Korean people you ask? China doesn’t even care about its people!

          • Chucky3176

            Absurd. Why would China be afraid of NK? They share a border but that part of China is underdeveloped with vast spaces of unused land. It’s not like NK can strike deep into China and hold Beijing as hostage, like they are with Seoul with vastly higher population density. If anything, they will attack S.Korea and Japan first, why would they make and fight a third enemy in China? Simply that fear does not make sense and sounds like an weak excuse for China not to do anything.

          • Insomnicide

            If North Korean nuclear developments escalate, they can hold Beijing hostage.Not only Beijing, but also Seoul and Tokyo.

        • JohnDoe7

          lol The delusion is strong here.

          Yeah, China gives North Korea money because the Chinese people loves North Korean people and not because of stabilising North Korea as a buffer state and also for natural resources.

      • Insomnicide

        Actually China exports many consumer products to North Korea.
        The clothes, the manufactured food, any electronics, etc. etc. all come from China.

    • Isaac

      China is as worse as North Korea. Probably the worst of them all. 3rd world country, bunch of lawless peasants, no human rights, shaddy-run businesses, etc.

      • takasar1

        How cute… another tea party hack. I at least hope you’re being paid well

        • Isaac

          Being paid by exactly who? 50 Cent Party? Aha! It’s just that nobody in here wants to hear your disgusting sinocentrism propaganda. I suggest you crawl back to csmack and shove that Cultural Marxism nonsense back to your shithole called China.

    • JohnDoe7

      Yes, It’s true that they are thinking for their own interest but so does everyone.

      Come on, you really believe China is paying money to North Korea for altruistic reasons?

  • Guest

    It should be noted that how people respond to these surveys is as much a function of how the survey is written as to what they actually believe. If you prep a survey with a bunch of questions about reunification costs, people will be more likely to say they won’t pay. In contrast, prep the survey with items like how they feel about North Korean human rights abuses, for example, and people will say they’re more likely to pay more.

    There’s also the issue of who the group surveyed is. Universities are notorious for disproportionately using university students in their studies, although without access to the study itself I can’t say for sure whether this happened.

    Honestly, the costs and benefits associated with reunification extend beyond money, and willingness to pay is not the best way to measure it. Much of costs that accompanied the German reunification were in the political/socioeconomic/cultural divide that came with the two countries being separated so long. In other words: N. Korea gonna need some therapy.

  • takasar1

    Reunification would be a disaster. What exactly would the country gain? A disease is the answer

  • Michael Timothy

    The pollsters probably made the mistake of asking poor people their opinion. When you’re struggling to make rent and food everything else just doesn’t matter.

    Until it’s a real possibility this hypothetical question is meaningless.

  • vonskippy

    Reunification – over fatty kim’s dead body.

  • Eric0912

    Is five months a normal time frame to prepare the presentation of a survey like this?

  • zachary T

    I always figured that South Korea should absorb the North in phases. Basically It would be one Korea but for a few decades much of the north would be a “territory” and not a full fledged member of ROK. Divide up NK into 10 or so geographic regions, intergrate them into ROK seperatly ( analogous to how the Western states in the United States were brought into the Union). It would give everyone breathing space, time for North Koreans to figure out how to act in the new country, Time for South Koreans to understand how to deal with Northerners, make it slightly more economic ( special rules for business in the Territory), giving SK troops something to do ( security in the territories) They could even move USFK troops and bases into the Territories for deconstructing any NK military installations, that would desensitize North Koreans to Foreigners and reduce tensions around areas near USFK bases now in the south. Unless their plans are spelled out for the tax paying citizen you will get the negative feedback like you do now.

    • Chucky3176

      We already have a model in China and Hong Kong. Most South Korean experts want this for Korea, but they don’t explain this to South Korean people who think and fear that North Koreans will move into South, in mass.

      If handled right, this would be prevented. I even foresee one day, South Koreans moving to booming North Korea in search of jobs. Because North Korea will need everything from scratch. They don’t even have toothpaste – they’ll need every consumer items you can imagine, as well as roads, railroads, houses, factories.. on and on.

      Paying for all these would not be a problem. The world will rush in with investment money, knowing full well how much natural resources North Korea has, as well known how South Korea after 1945, with no natural resources, developed in short time.

      • zachary T

        interesting, I never thought of Hong Kong/China as a model for Korea… you are right about the complete “from scratch” nature of building up the North, especially since you need the North to become self sustaining and not be a drain ( e.g. East Germany to West Germany)

        • Chucky3176

          Koreans learn from Germany’s lessons. It will not be like that. Much of the Germans costs were giving subsidies, welfare, and training to East Germans, to bring up their economic standards up to the West’s. Korea will instead go the other route, and let North Korea have its own friendly government, and help them to build up to become strong. Then once the gap has closed enough, full unification can occur.

      • Guest

        Yes, like this, but with the China becoming more like the Hong Kong, instead of the other way around, which is unfortunately what’s happening in Hong Kong now.

        Scarily, counterfeiting is showing up in Hong Kong now, this is bad for HK people, but also for all the Mainalnders who went to HK for ‘safe milk’. If HK have the ability to elect a government independent of Beijing, this wouldn’t be happening – and democracy wouldn’t remove HK from Mainland because of geography and need for fresh water anyways.

        But horrible dictators wouldn’t be horrible dictators (horrible managers / bad boss) if they know when to loosen the fist and use ‘soft power’.

    • Insomnicide

      But for that to happen, they would have to shell out a lot of money. Tax payer’s money. So that’s what these comfortable middle class office workers are worried about. They seriously can’t get over the idea that economic development and wealth growth will have to be reformed to include the Northerners.

  • zachary T

    second thought about this. when the North collapses, would ROK be able to legally acquire all the overseas accounts of NK regime? it wouldn’t pay for all of it, but any few million dollars would help right? even just to buy immediate food relief on open market?

    • Chucky3176

      There isn’t much NK assets overseas in comparative terms. Yes, lot of money for few government officials who are involved in drug running, counterfeiting, missile selling, etc. But in terms of national asset, they are insignificant. What North Korea has in abundance, is debt. Debt to China and Russia. It would be interesting to see if South Korea will honor those debt. There’s also a whole list of land squabbles that North Korea has with China/Russia. As well as promises by North Korea, especially to China in regards to China’s investments in North Korea in return for access to North Korean ports, North Korean mines, North Korean factories, etc. Will South Korea still honor those as well? Those will all have to be worked out.

  • KCdude

    I don’t think South Korea can absorb North Korea a la Germany. Germany’s biggest problem after its reunification is the immense number of “used-to-be-extremely-poor-to-death” former East Germans feeling unusually nostalgic about socialism. Can South Korea accept these North Koreans in the near future? Most likely not.

    If Korea ever wants any form of reunification, it should model China’s “one country, two systems” policy.

    For example, whether South Korea is in a situation of absorbing North Korea, it will be the South Korean government that should maintain ex-North Korean collective farms for a lengthy time. (source: ‘통일 후에도 北 협동농장 일정기간 유지 필요’)

  • commander

    In mid 19th century, Bismark famously said in his prime minister of Prussia inauguration address to the parliament that the German unification can be achieved by iron and blood, in a remark that draws criticism from liberal parliamentarians.

    His remarks still have relevancy for today’s Korean Peninsula.

    But this does not mean justification of forcible reunification of two Koreas, which is impossible given massive destruction power of weapons in possession by two countries in a half century old cease fire and the huge risk of an escalation into regional conflict involving China and the United States.

    In today’ context where China seeks peaceful rise and an anxious United States pursues a pivotal return to Asia in a possible change of balance of power, Bismark’s address should be viewed as calls for shrewd and realistic diplomacy in a tense inter-Korean relationship and regional powers’ contest for supremacy in East Asia.

    In a democracy, the greatest merit of which is to prevent oppressive autocrat’s rise to power, people are given the right to raise their own voices and call for a specific policy, but to many’s sadness, decisions by the masses do not always lead to right choice of course, rather it is quite the opposite on many occasions.

    The poll finding, I think, only shows that facing prolonged economic slowdown and diminishing opportunities for employment, young people are averse to paying more taxes for what they see as something that will never benefit their personal life at least in short term.

    Does this findings really represent the true national interests, and should any policy makers heed this survey results to wind down preparing the ground for the peninsula’s reunification? A Big No.

    Putting aside the controversial fact that the way questions in a questionnaire are presented greatly influences responses from the polled, the long term vital interests of a community can not be entrusted to the capricious mass.

    That’s why we attach great significance to charismatic leadership, which grasps the underlying order of things in a seemingly disorderly arrangement, and executes his political will in consideration of people’s wishes and the calls of the times.

  • Peter Old

    In 1997 masses of S.Koreans gave up their personal gold (jewellery) to support their economy during the financial crisis… But why not contribute to reunification?

    S.Koreans typically aren’t very charitable – look at their position on the “World Giving Index”.
    S.Koreans typically seldom volunteer their time. I’ve met a lot of young unemployed/under employed who don’t even consider volunteering… But they want to find a non-paying internship since it will give them a competitive advantage.

    S.Koreans are brainwashed from a young age to think of themselves as “one race” who care about each other; compared to selfish and individual foreigners… Bollocks. S.Koreans will typically only donate, volunteer or assist when they can gain from the situation.

    Look at the treatment of DPRK defectors or S.Korean orphans or the disabled or the poor kid whose parents can’t afford a North Face jacket.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Don’t worry, we are here to clean up this town.

    • Isaac

      “S.Koreans typically aren’t very charitable – look at their position on the “World Giving Index”.
      SK ranks over both Japan and China considering that these two countries have much larger economy than SK. If you gonna bullshit do a better job, please.

      • Peter Old

        Um……. Surely its better to compare per capita GDPs since the World Giving Index is calculated at individual level – not the national level. In that case, SK outranks Japan who has a higher per capita GDP. In this regard, like SK, I don’t think highly of Japan. I don’t like your attitude; you’re the rude one BSing the facts.

        Do you want me to say the Chinese and Japanese aren’t charitable either…? It doesn’t make S.Koreans any better; SK is still low in the rankings.

        • Isaac

          You rant big when the issue is not significantly different from other countries. Keep your bullshit to yourself, Esl teacher.

          • Peter Old

            Isaac, I don’t understand why you have that attitude.

            1. I wasn’t ranting, I’ve came to these opinions and have thought them through… Well, I think these opinions are founded and would like to see how people consider them, understand the possible weak points, rebuttals and points I haven’t considered. I would also like to share my opinion with others. Don’t think of it as more than that.

            2. This situation is unique. But hypothetically, if this situation arose in most other OECD countries who are charitable, well I think they would be “more willing to pay”; and the World Giving Index is a good measure for this.

            You’ve responded to my comments labeling them BS, implying the facts aren’t correct – but haven’t done a reasonable job to refute them and instead attack me personally. You’be called me a BSing ESL teacher… in a pejorative fashion. You are wrong on both accounts. Don’t jump to conclusions and be more polite.

    • Chucky3176

      Who’s “we” and what do you mean “we will clean up this town”?

      Going back to the IMF gold collection campaign for a moment, if you had asked the Koreans, before that crisis hit, would they donate their gold and money to the country if the country is in financial trouble, you would have been laughed off the poll. It’s when the crisis really hit, did the people respond by rallying around public campaigns. Same with the North Korea reunification. Once North Korea collapses, and reporters go into North Korea, and show faces of real North Korean kids starving on TV, the attitude will change in overwhelming positive fashion. Didn’t the ferry accident bring this to example?

      “S.Koreans are brainwashed from a young age to think of themselves as “one race” who care about each other; compared to selfish and individualistic foreigners…”

      Korean is not a race, and it was never taught as a race. Up to 2006, Korean schools taught that both north and south Koreans are one people under one nation, to instill sense of duty and pride for the nation. Unfortunately that’s no longer taught in schools, replaced by multicultural theories. As for comparing Koreans to selfish and individualistic foreigners, that’s just projection.

      “Look at the treatment of DPRK defectors or S.Korean orphans or the disabled or the poor kid whose parents can’t afford a North Face jacket.”

      what’s poor kids whose parents can’t afford a North Face jacket got to do anything? The DPRK defectors get tremendous South Korean government support financially. You make it sound as if they are living in horrible conditions or something, when in fact, most of them are very happy and grateful living in South Korea eventhough everyone of them have their own stories and problems. You’re taking this poll way too seriously, as if that opinion won’t change once the shit hits the fan.

      • chucky3176

        Furthermore, if you ask the US public now if they would support giving $2 trillions to help North Koreans, they will say “Yes of course, we must help North Korea!” Right? Hell no way. But I’m sure that stance would soften once North Korea’s cover comes off, and I’m sure there will be outpouring of charity.

        • Peter Old

          1. I don’t agree that before the financial crisis, S.Koreans would have laughed when asked if they were willing to donate their jewellery for sake of the economy IF the situation had been explained in detail. S.Koreans wouldn’t laugh if they understood the economic consequence: losing foreign investment, national debt, how many jobs would be lost, the fall of won. I would say disparity between the hypothetical situation and real critical events comes mainly from understanding the situation. People are more aware when the situation is real.

          S.Koreans do understand the real situation in the North. They do understand that children are starving, they know about the labor camps. There is no cover denying the situation. And yet, 44% of S.Koreans admit they would not assist with the costs.

          I don’t think this report is far from the truth. I’ve met enough Koreans who admit they don’t want reunification, stating economic reasons alone. Ministers have said that the North must raise it’s economic situation to that of the South before reunification is considered.

          2. You are right, ‘Korean’ is not a race. I’ve have heard Koreans refer to themselves as both “one race” and “one people”. I should have said “one people” since it is more accurate.

          But I don’t agree that it’s a bad thing to no longer teach this in schools. S.Korean society is rapidly becoming multicultural and the “one people” mentality doesn’t help.

          3. I’m not sure if you misunderstood me here… I’m not sure what you mean by: “As for comparing Koreans to selfish and individualistic foreigners, that’s just projection.”

          S.Koreans who have lived abroad for long enough will say that there is a common mentality that Koreans care about each other and are collective while foreigners are selfish and individualistic. They will say this isn’t really true and were surprised how people in Western countries will give and assist to those they aren’t acquainted with.

          4. The poor kid who doesn’t have a North Face jacket! Little 철수 faces social rejection because his family are poor. He gets bullied by 민호 who has an unearned self-esteem because his parents are ostentatious and even bought him a $400 pair of headphones. Both 민호 and 철수 sadly grow up thinking it’s better to spend money on your image than others.

          5. I don’t agree that most defectors are generally very happy. They find difficult to become employed and face social rejection… because sadly, S.Koreans typically don’t really care.

          6. I like the information in most of your posts. Keep it up.

          • Chucky3176

            “People are more aware when the situation is real.”

            Isn’t that what I’m saying? Let’s put it this way, if North Korea collapses tomorrow, and South Koreans see the horrible situations that North Korean people live under, with their own eyes, you don’t think South Koreans will wake up to the challenge to help developing North Korea? I think it was only 1945 when an American general in South Korea said these Koreans will never amount to much, they’re too stupid and primitive.

          • Peter Old

            I’ve thought about your comment and still have a different opinion on this issue. Mainly because S.Koreans do understand the horrible situations that North Korean people live under. They already understand the poverty and the problems with the regime. And I don’t see a change in this understanding after a collapse of the regime.

            There will be S.Koreans who want donate a lot; and S.Koreans who don’t want to at all. There will be church groups who want to establish and develop the North; there will be organisations who see the economic potential.

            I think the findings of the SNU report are reflective of the values held by S.Koreans. S.Koreans are typically selfish, materialistic and rarely volunteer or donate. This isn’t just my observation, Koreans themselves tell me this.

          • Chucky3176

            Then you know very little about Korean society. Koreans have always come together as one, in times of extreme crisis, even though Koreans may look hopelessly fractured before the crisis. Plus, opinion polls never always stay the same in Korea. They can change suddenly when something deep happens to change everyone’s minds. That alone tells me this poll result is basically meaningless until North Korea really does collapses, effecting South Korea in a real way.

          • Chucky3176

            By the way, your observations about didn’t come true with the Sewol ferry tragedy. There were many selfless volunteers who sacrificed their time to help out, as well as outpouring of public and private donations (even though they probably didn’t need the money) for the families of the victims who were camped out in Jindo Island. They’re the type of people who wouldn’t have bothered to fill out poll questionnairs asking them have you donated anything in the last 6 months. The support by the public for the victims was incredible, as soon as people saw how this accident impacted them in a personal way.

          • Peter Old

            Firstly, we would really need to consider the catalyst for reunification to suppose how S.Koreans will react. It depends on these scenarios…

            In reply to your comment I would say:

            1. It may not be fair to compare this “additional costs associated with reunification” issue with what you call extreme crisis or the Sewol tragedy. Yes, S.Koreans did selflessly volunteer and donate when they money wasn’t needed. But I think this is an exception, not the trend. The same was true in Japan after Fukashima – where the Japanese gave a lot to help those affected… That was also an exception, not the trend.

            I would say the “additional costs associated with reunification” issue is more similar to homelessness or say poverty in S.Korea. Of course, some S.Koreans do give to the needy, but not enough is done. This is true in Anglo countries as well; but I make the point this is at a higher degree in S.K., which doesn’t have the same level of social security.

            2. I agree that polls can easily change and I am willing to change my opinion of this poll if the metadata of this SNU survey can help me better understand the results. But considering this was an extract for the Ministry of Unification, I believe this has been well thought through and is reliable.

            Of course polls do differ and there is variation between survey methods. This article detailing a poll from KTV says that 70% will donate for the reunification (I assume this is for the $50 million(peanuts) unification fund). This figure is not strictly true as “When asked if they planned to donate to the government fund, 25 percent said they definitely wanted to, and a further 47 percent said they’d consider it”… I believe the SNU survey has more merit on this issue for obvious reasons.


            It’s also fair to say that S.Koreans wouldn’t want to donate unless the money is actually going to contribute. I think that is where the 47% “considering it” applies. NB I don’t think this strictly applies to the SNU survey as it deals with annual payments associated with the reunification, not the government reunification fund.

          • Chucky3176

            “But I think this is an exception, not the trend. The same was true in Japan after Fukashima”

            Koreans lined up in droves to donate for Fukushima (although the Japanese will say it’s not true), it was all over the media in 2011 and I personally saw public campaigns everywhere for Fukushima donations. Fukushima was different from other disasters because as geographic neighbors, Japan’s nuclear disaster could adversely effect Korea, and it became closer to home. Another exception?

            “I would say the “additional costs associated with reunification” issue is more similar to homelessness or say poverty in S.Korea.”

            Disagree completely. The fall of North Korea would not merely be “additional costs associated with reunification” equivalent to homelessness. The collapse of North Korea will be a history changing moment for Koreans. When they start seeing skull faced concentration camp survivors, live personally, it won’t just be merely “additional costs” like homeless people. Furthermore, there’s something the matter with you (either you’re a drug/alcohol addict, or running away from debt collectors) if you’re homeless in Korea. There are plenty of minimum wage / 3D jobs in Korea in which you can provide shelter with.

            “But considering this was an extract for the Ministry of Unification, I believe this has been well thought through and is reliable.”

            I never questioned the poll or the methodology, but merely pointed out that people’s minds can change with life changing incidents like collapse of North Korea. But now that you brought it up, it maybe merely the lack of trust by the Korean people towards giving money to the government who will abuse the public funds, and has nothing to do with North Korea. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but that maybe one of the explanations as well.

          • Peter Old

            Well… Yes it is another exception and it’s not right to compare these situations. My point with the Sewol tragedy and Fukashima disaster is that they were accidents – and this is what compels people to donate. These were unforeseen and instantaneous (relatively speaking). I don’t think it’s right to compare these events to “this issue” – which has long been in the mind of Koreans, cannot be “solved” by emergency relief and will a require sustained effort.

            Homelessness or poverty in S.Korea is more like “this issue” as is not as shocking or as disastrous as these tragedies. Yes, seeing these skull-faced persons can be confronting, but it’s not as shocking or unforeseen. “Solving” homelessness or poverty requires more than a relief effort and is a behind-the-stage issue – alike reunification and not alike these tragedies. S.Koreans are already aware of the skull-faced concentration camp prisoners. It’s no secret. As far as I remember, there is a training video seen by newly recruited military service personnel which details the concentration camps. They are also aware of the homelessness and poverty in their country (but it wasn’t treated seriously until the 1997 financial crisis).

            It’s true that homeless people can be druggies or alcoholics, or “running away from debt”. This is the perception and not usually the core problem – in any country. It’s an attitude to avoid feeling sympathy for homeless people. The problems are more complex and can’t be treated so simplistically. Most homeless people have a lack of life skills and mental illnesses are frequent. Whatever the case, they need help to overcome their obstacles to employment. Yes, there are jobs available but they need support to become job-ready. There is a need for organisations (which require volunteers and donations) to do this since government support is lacking. Also many of the homeless are elderly and are not suitable for many jobs, especially 3D jobs. — The reason I give S.Koreans a bad name in this regard is because they are hypocritical and proudly boast about how great they are in terms of caring about each other… When that’s really just a fat lie. And like poverty in the South, S.Koreans don’t care enough about poverty in the North or want to contribute to the costs of reunification.

            Also, I should have been more careful when mentioning the “poll and methodology”. I knew you didn’t mention that and was bringing it up for discussion, not argument.

          • chucky3176

            “The reason I give S.Koreans a bad name in this regard is because they are hypocritical and proudly boast about how great they are in terms of caring about each other…”

            huh?? We can agree that we disagree, but I can’t totally agree with this. I was born in Korea, fluent in Korean, and known many Koreans all my life, but I have never heard anyone making this claim and boasting about it. I do concede that I’ve heard Koreans saying they are better taking care of their parents than the more selfish west (but that was long time ago, and no longer true). But Koreans boasting that Koreans are more caring about each other? Never heard of it, in fact, I categorically deny it. What I do hear, it’s completely the opposite of what you claim, about the rising gap between rich and poor, the lack of social safety net, and why Korea is not up to the “advanced industrialized countries”, why Koreans are so bad and uncaring to each other, and other negative stuff. I am not sure where you’re getting this impressions from.

  • Guest

    This is not unusual, that the desire to reunite is fading with time.

    I’m from Hong Kong, and my grandfather is from Mainland China, back in the 60s, even through the travel restriction, there was a desire for reunion – not for a communist takeover (which was what everyone ran away from), but hopes that China will hurry up and become democratic and sane again, so that there can be a reunion – because everyone left behind siblings and cousins in Mainland.
    The next generation, my mother and father, know of cousins that visited them, and visited cousins.

    Me, I don’t know anyone in Mainland at all, and some (not all, but some) kids my generation and younger have called all mainlanders locusts because they don’t know that their grandparents or great grandparents are from that place, there is too much of a disconnect from their day to day life. We speak different dialects and write in different scripts, so we can’t even communicate.

    Right now, there are still some tearfilled reunion between families separated by South and North – but remember how OLD everyone was in the last reunion? Soon there will be no one left for reunion, no ties. It’s an irreversible generational shift.

    I see the current leader of North Korea as holding his own citizens hostage – but the value of the hostages are diminishing year by year as people who are their family in the South dies off…and those that are the current generation in the South will be less willing to advocate and pay. This will have tragic consequences in North Korea’s ability to get aid that they are dependent on.

    A few weeks after a plane full of Chinese tourists went down, the Sewol sunk with 300 highschool students from South Korea, and 300 Nigerian girls were abducted from their school dorms, by terrorists that intends to enslave them for life. Nigeria is a name on a map. So international attention, and my attention, was focus the Sewol, crossing our fingers as the divers pumped oxygen in the ship – because South Koreans were ‘more like us’, so we think about Sewol more while in Nigeria…surely their government will take care of it?

    This is what is slowly going to happen from North Korea as their family ties in the South dies of old age – they will disappear from thoughts.

  • Isaac

    Reunification will benefit Korea in the long run. Please South Koreans, don’t listen to the filthy jangkaes and island monkeys!

  • Guy Forget

    Hey guys, you have to remember how messed up South Koreans are too (the younger generation). 50% of South Koreans value having cosmetic face surgery (larger eyes) than reunification of Korea since they both cost about $300. That’s how messed up some of these younger South Koreans are. At least the old generation are largely in favor for reunification as they know the importance of it.

    • JohnDoe7

      Easy for one to say this when one is a not Korean citizen and do not face the repercussions.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Another case of something for nothing. You’d think after being around for 10,000+ years humans would figure out that just doesn’t work.

  • JohnDoe7

    This poll is actually surprising for me. For all the hype about people obedience to older people in Korea because of Confucianism, this poll shows some of them actually do think for themselves.

  • Chucky3176

    The Time Online calls it North Korea’s game changer if they can develop their enormous quantities of mineral deposits which have been verified by geologists, including deposits of rare earth which is known to be twice the number of the world reserves, and six times China’s deposits.


  • harvz

    Hypothetically speaking, if the dictatorship were to fall, I think the world should focus on education and helping North Koreans to develop their country. This is more important than reunification. Get North Korea running and then let North Koreans decide if they want to reunite.

  • I can kind of understand the South korean attitude . If I had to decide if I wanted my own country unified North and South at the moment I would have to say no-way also. You might as well say, hey fancy going back to the troubles? NO. Thank you. It is slightly naive to think all of North Korea will just Happily go along with this loss of sovereignty without kicking up a fuss. Also it would require a Peace Process, how would the south Korean people feel about an amnesty for the men directly involved in the bombardment of Yeonpyeong not too long ago. It is a long and difficult road to walk first . Start with Peace and Reconciliation. To speak about it in monetary terms is to devalue the human loss on both sides.

  • Smith_90125

    How very confucianist of them. “I don’t know those people, so I don’t care.” The Koreans would rather abandon the starving kids and victims of gulags than help them.

    The Germans showed common decency to their new countrymen when the Berlin wall fell. What’s wrong with you people? Korean christians are trying to turn it into a christian theocracy, and as usual, are all talk but no action when it comes to “christian love”.

    • Sillian

      Do you mean South Koreans were not very ‘confucianist’ when they were a lot more favorable about pouring aid into North Korea in the first half of the 2000’s? Back then, the South Korean public was happy with helping North Korea. Over the following years, however, many of them felt that the unconditional aid was only helping the North Korean monarchy prosper and threaten South Korea. Now people seem much more jaded about doing something with North Korea. So are they getting more ‘confucianist’ recently because they grew more cynical towards helping North Korea in general? That is pseudo-culturalism. Also, the popular sentiment seems to be that they are already paying enough taxes and the government shouldn’t just waste their tax revenue for useless projects.

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