As the debate about unification has recently been enlivened in Korean society, the flame of hope for unification is being re-kindled. However, there are still many who focus solely on the enormous costs involved, while others remain passive toward the unification issue. Particularly members of the younger generation feel satisfied with ‘co-existence under an unstable peace’ as a divided peninsula. However, as indicated in a special report by the Russian Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) which assessed that “North Korea is already in the process of collapse,” the unification issue is no longer something we can avoid.

Therefore, armed with this consciousness of the problems of our era, this project assesses the significance of the recent rekindling of interest in unification and considers a new vision of unification and its potential value, dealing intensively with the positions and roles of the four neighboring powers regarding unification as well as ideas for strategic cooperation among South Korea and its powerful neighbors.

The publication of this project owes much to the diligent efforts of KINU research associates such as Hyo Min Lee, Uichan Ko and Jisuk Park who reviewed and edited the various papers. Also, the English version of this publication benefited greatly from the accurate translations done by research associates Meredith Rose Shaw and Hyo Min Lee.

It is the editor’s hope that this research project can help both Korean and foreign experts, academics, and readers to better understand the value of Korean unification and the various positions and roles that can be played by the US, Japan, China and Russia.


Chapter 1


A Vision of Korean Unification and Its Value : Building Great Power Korea/ Jung-Ho Bae | Director, Center for International Relations Studies, KINU


Chapter 2


German Reunification and the European Union/ Don-Jay Yeom | Dean, Graduate School of Strategic Studies, Sungkyunkwan University


Chapter 3


The United States and Korean Unification/ Ralph Hassig and Kongdan Oh | The Institute for Defense Analyses(IDA)


Chapter 4


Japan’s Role and Position on Korean Unification/ Takashi Inoguchi | President, University of Niigata Prefecture

Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo


Chapter 5


Managing the Path toward Eventual Korean Unification : The Chinese Way/ You Ji | Associate Professor, School of Social Science & International Studies, The University of New South Wales


Chapter 6


Russia’s Role and Position on Korean Unification/ Alexander Panov | Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary


Chapter 7


Korea’s Diplomatic Strategy for Unifying the Korean Peninsula/ Young-Ho Park | Senior Research Fellow, KINU

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