State succession in the case of a unified Korea resulting from the collapse of North Korea
KIm, Ju Hyun.
Miller, Alice Lyman
Olsen, Edward A.
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economy, bereft of the great power patronage that it once enjoyed from the Soviet Union and China, and enduring economic shortages and distress, Pyongyang faces challenges that may cumulatively lead to its dissolution. Were collapse to occur, many surmise, unification with the South seems a plausible consequence and many South Koreans expect the consequence. However, unification of the Korean peninsula by the South's absorption of the North, faces numerous obstacles. There are many possible legal and institutional issues that would be raised by collapse of North Korea and that would in turn figure into prospects for unification with the South.These include: South and North Korea's membership as sovereign states in the United Nations; Historical issues stemming from the Korean War, including the continuing relevance of the United Nations and Combined Forces Commands; and Legal stipulation incorporated into past North-South agreements, such as the "Inter-Korean Basic Agreement." Adding to the complexity of these issues is the geopolitical context in which their resolution must be addressed. In addition to the goals and policies of Seoul and Washington in dealing with state collapse in North Korea, the concerns and approaches of Beijing, Moscow, and Tokyo will also have an impact on how these legal and institutional questions are solved. Given these complex issues, it is not a foregone conclusion that North Korea, following collapse, may easily be incorporated into a unified Korean state under Seoul's direction. Therefore, I suggest that the South Korean government needs to prepare for a North Korean collapse which could lead a possibly unified Korea. The suggestions for preparation can be categorized into three areas: political/diplomatic, military, and social/economic.
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