Sejong Policy Series
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Sejong Policy Series

ROK's National Strategy 2030: Unification
2016.06.13  Monday
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Seong-chang Cheong, Un-Chul Yang, Haksoon Paik, Jong Chul Park, Yang-yeol Oh


This book makes educated predictions on changes in North Korea’s internal system throughout the year 2030, and makes suggestions about various strategies on issues ranging from a peaceful road to unification to establishment of an economic community, denuclearization and peace regime, unification diplomacy, and fostering a sociocultural community.


Analyzing the stability of the system, there appears to be a low probability for a regime change in North Korea. Even in the event of Kim Jong-un losing the control of power, a democratic government is unlikely to take roots there, and the emergence of a joint governance system by the Workers’ Party and the military appears to be more likely. And this book forecasts that there will be more liberalization and reform in North Korea by the year 2030. Of course, it still remains questionable as to whether North Korea’s economic liberalization efforts will be successful or meaningful due to its nuclear weapons development. One of the most alarming concerns about North Korea in 2030 is obviously its nuclear capability. Numerous experts in the U.S. expect that North Korea will be in a position to have 20 to 100 nuclear weapons by 2020. By that logic, it is expected that Pyongyang will have some hundreds of nuclear arsenals by the year 2030. Based on these predictions, this book contends that a realistic goal for South Korea in 2030 is not a complete unification of the Korean peninsula but a still relatively low level of a South-North federation.


In terms of achieving an economic community, it is predicated that by 2030, there will be integration of various industrial sectors with the establishment of a free trade area although it will not have reached the level where there truly exist free movements of labor and capital. In order to establish an economic community, (a) the inter-Korean economic cooperation should be fostered, (b) North Korea should do away with its inefficient planned economic system, (c) its export industry should be promoted, and (d) the inter-Korean economic community should be further integrated into the broader regional market of Northeast Asia.


In order to achieve the dual objectives of denuclearization and a peace regime on the Korean peninsula by 2030, this book approaches the issue through a “unification-fostering” perspective instead of the two-state perspective which is often the mainstream approach taken by the U.S. Further, this study incorporates an approach that emphasizes on the importance of identity formation based on peaceful unification.


As the guiding principles of unification diplomacy, this book looks closely at the link between the actor and the issue, the combination between soft power and hard power, the establishment of complex networks of bilateral, trilateral and other forms of multilateral diplomacy, specific actor-oriented unification diplomacy, focusing on minimizing costs and maximizing benefits, expanding public diplomacy, and fostering global networks for promotion of inter-Korean cooperation, among others.


And lastly, in terms of fostering the inter-Korean sociocultural community, this book offers a glimpse into establishing a foundation for stable and active cooperation and exchange, homogenization of future outlook and tolerance for cultural differences, the combined approach of pragmatism and symbolism, strong identity formation for the Korean diaspora communities and the rise of cultural trend.



Volume No.: 2016-3

Publisher: The Sejong Institute

Publication Date: April 25, 2016

Length: 194 Pages