For decades, South Korea has been preparing for what many believe is the inevitable unification with the North, bringing about an unprecedented level of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Preparing for unification would involve neighboring countries, international organizations, and major investments of human, capital, and other resources by South Korea. South Koreans are beginning to think more carefully than ever about what the process will look like, what the demands will be, and how outsiders might be involved. Will it be a sudden, formal unification or
? How might it affect the ROK-U.S. alliance, and how might the relationship affect unification?
On January 21-22, 2014, the Brookings
Center for East Asia Policy Studies
(CEAP) and the
Korea Research Institute for Strategy
(KRIS) held a two-day conference in Seoul, Korea, on cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Korea in preparing for the unification of the Korean Peninsula. Three panels featuring leading experts from the U.S. and South Korea discussed issues related to the unification process including how unification will take place, the contingencies that may occur, the impact of recent political turmoil in North Korea, and what will be the role of China.