June 22, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Some thoughts on the possible reunification of korea by a China RPCV

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Korea: Peace Corps Korea : The Peace Corps in Korea: June 22, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Some thoughts on the possible reunification of korea by a China RPCV

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 12:22 pm: Edit Post

Some thoughts on the possible reunification of korea by a China RPCV

Some thoughts on the possible reunification of korea by a China RPCV

Simon's Homepage

I am currently studying history and political science at the University of California. Although my interests are varied {encompassing cultural anthropology, sociology and literature}, I am looking forward to graduate study in the realm of history and/or international relations after my 18 month Peace Corps assignment in China is completed.

I first got hooked to Korean Studies when I took a Political Science course taught by Prof. Hong Yung Lee called "The Politics of Divided Korea". His class was fascinating because he not only "tackled" the politics of these two contrasting and competing regimes, but he brought to attention the unique history and sociology that exists when what is essentially one nation is divided by two divergent and foreign ideologies. If you are interested, I would recommend to you the following books that will go into more detail on what I have mentioned above:

1. Bruce Cumings' "The Origins of the Korean War" Volumes I & 2.
2. "The Politics of the Vortex" by Gregory Henderson
3. "Political Change in South Korea" edited by Ilpyong J. Kim and Young Whan Kihl.
4. "State & Society in Contemporary Korea" edited by Hagen Koo.
5. "The Failure of Democracy in South Korea" by the former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Han Sung Joo.
6. George E. Ogle's "SOUTH KOREA-Dissent Within The Economic Miracle"

Some thoughts on the possible reunification of korea
Although the prospects of a reunification between the two "warring" states{technically, the North and South are still at war because they have not formally ended hostilities with a signed treaty} are not too bright at the moment, eventual reunification, one that may even take decades. Those who believe in the inevitability of the reunification of Korea are not only students of Hegel's Philosophy of History, but are also astute observers that point to current trends and draw attention to specific signs that an important historical page is being turned, one that will lead to the reunification of Korea. Those who make claim to the inevitability of Korean Reunification point to North Korea's continuing spiral down the deep, dark well of isolation in the Post Cold-War era and beyond. Others feel that the "change of wind" in the region symbolized by the Republic of China's monumental "rethink" of communism, modernization, and relations with other nations { notably, China's new relationship with South Korea} will offer a shining example to the DPRK to change course with the wind and reap all the benefits that will arise as a result. Emulating the Chinese, like Korea once did so many centuries ago with Confucianism, might offer the Koreans a way to modernize and come out of their "hermit's shell" on their own terms. Following this train of thought a step further, North Korea might favor a reunification based on an economic confederation of some sort.

Perhaps more importantly, one might regard the strong common bonds, forged over many centuries of shared cultural and historical experiences that both Marxism or capitalism have failed to annihilate from the Korean conscious, as the major determinant that will render reunification inevitable. National commonalties, not political differences which are ephemeral, will in the end, reunite the north and the south into One Korea.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - China; COS - Korea



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