One Korea Soon?
When he was elected South Korea’s president in 1998, Kim Dae Jung began a Sunshine Policy, launching a series of inter-Korean projects, including the possibility of a cross-border rail link and tourist and industrial parks. The idea of unification would combine North Korean military strength with South Korean economic strength, which would help nurse the impoverished North back to health.
Stratfor’s analysts predicted on May 9, 2000, “A reunified Korea would dramatically lower tension in the region—but at the cost of American and Japanese influence. … A stabilized Korea, in lessening security concerns, may also boost regional economic growth.” The unification of Korea “would drastically alter the balance of power in East Asia. No longer divided, Korea would discontinue hosting U.S. forces on the peninsula.” Also, the justification of U.S. troops in Japan would be even further weakened, unless Washington somehow felt its presence there would help it keep tabs on Beijing. It certainly would leave Korea in stronger alliance with China, which controlled the peninsula for centuries before the Japanese annexed it in 1910.
How does the prospect of Korean unification fare, given the current nuclear situation? South Korean President-Elect Roh Moo Hyun has laid out plans for economic engagement with North Korea that are even more ambitious than Kim Dae Jung’s Sunshine Policy. Some say the nuclear issue must be resolved before such plans can be implemented. Nevertheless, Seoul and Pyongyang have continued cooperative efforts throughout this latest nuclear episode.
The real slow-down to Korean unification, in the eyes of many Asians, is the United States. What happens with the current North Korean standoff will largely determine the course of reunification efforts over the coming years.
Harvard’s Samuel Huntington predicted the union of the two Koreas in his 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations: “People separated by ideology but united by culture come together, as the two Germanys did and as the two Koreas and the several Chinas are beginning to.” Many of the seeds for Korean conflict are mere “leftovers from the Cold War,” he wrote.
This prediction by one of today’s most respected analysts concerning the unification of Korea agrees with the sure word of Bible prophecy. As world events climax in a massive global conflict spurred by a political beast now forming in Europe—a union of nations that will wreak unspeakable havoc on Anglo-America and the Middle East—the Bible predicts that an even greater, more fearsome force will unite to counter this European power. Identified in Revelation 16:12 as the “kings of the east,” this Asian force, to include mighty nations like Russia, China, Japan and Korea, will rise up in a mighty nuclear battle against the European beast. Korea, ultimately, will be united in this effort.