SENIOR EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE BRIEF

Created: 7/11/2000

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Table of Contents

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EAST ASIA

No RushloUnificatioQ

Perspective

Koreas are aiming lo defer final unification while pursuing economic and political cooperation and narrowing tbe gap between their plans. Both sides have publiclyrocess spanningears or more before complete integration is possible,

Both Koreas see cooperation as beneficial, but neither isincur the risks to economic and political stability thatrapid

South Korean (resident Kim's public pronouncements suggest be has concluded that achieving his massive aid plan for North Korea depends on domestic and intcrnritional perceptions that unificationong-term process that will foster stability on tbe Peninsula and will not cripple the Sooth's economy. Polls show South Koreans are more optimistic about reconciliation than in (be past and are willing to pay increased (axes lo assist the North but do not seek to achieve unification quickly.'

Korean Lender Remains Wary

Chong-il most likely sees the lcssoos of German unification and the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe as signs his country would be absorbed and his legacy obliteratedtronger South Koreauick unification. North Korea's propaganda contains cautionary notes that unification should not be achieved by one side "conquering" the other.

r^yoofyvxg's official media maintain thai unifying (be different political systemsask best left to "posterity tolowly in the future"

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Anecdotal evidence on Norm Korean public altitudes suggests the populace welcomes engagement with South Koreaolution to the North's economictrong sense of national identity and the regime's repeated warnings about the negative affects of German unification and the Soviet Union's dissolution, however, suggest the populace would see quick unification as capitulation to Seoul. I M

Comparisons to the unexpected speed of German unification do not take into account the North's isolation and the degree to which North Korea has indoctrinated its people. I

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