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FIRST STEP TO REUNIFY:
INVOLVE THE YOUTH
By Jepoi Ordaniel
It’s a story of struggles, of heroism, of the founding of national identity. It’s a story of oneculture, one people, and one nation. It’s a continuation of a great tale that started thousands of years ago of what is now known as one of the oldest continuous civilizations inthe world – Korea.
The division of Korea has posed one of the most challenging international affairsdilemmas in modern history. Proof to that is the fact that until now, there has beenno viable reunification process practical and cost-effective enough to undergo.Since the end of the Korean War, the two Koreas pursued their own different waysof doing things. At the beginning, it may seem absurd for the North and the Southto go on separate ways, simply on the dictates of the then powers that be. Save forthe form of government, the two Koreas have the same people, same language andsame culture. Add to that is the thousands of years of shared glorious and colorfulhistory – something that other countries can only dream about. They were similarthen in so many aspects, including standard of living and world standing.But half a century later, things have changed. For decades, North Korea has beenfirm on its principle of self-reliance or what their leaders call
Ideology. SouthKorea too has held on to its democratic ideals so firmly that it has developed stronginstitutions through years of struggles. On one hand, the two Koreas were able tomaintain the status quo, avoiding another bloody and destructive all out war formore than 60 years now, despite occasional tensions. On the other hand, the Northhas stagnated and now has become one of the world’s poorest nations, with most of its people reliant on foreign food aid while its southern neighbor emerged tobecome one of the world’s largest economies with its people having a high standardof living. The North has pursued a “military first” policy at the expense of itspeople’s welfare. The South followed a strong capitalist economy anchored on thevalues of freedom and hard work.Now, more than ever, the prospect of the two Koreas reuniting while bothgovernments are still standing is becoming dimmer and dimmer. In fact, the Worldis waiting for the North Korean Government to collapse for reunification to happen.For many, there is simply no other way for One Korea to become a reality againunless the regime of Kim Jong-Il crumples.