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President Park Geun-hye’s Unification Vision and Policy
Published March 4, 2016
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Achieving unification has been one of the most important national goals of all South Korean presidents. President Park is no exception, and clarifies that building a foundation for national unification is one of the four major objectives of her government. Her basic perceptions are “from small unification to big unification” and “unification bonanza.” In order to seek unification, she takes three tasks: 1) normalizing inter-Korean relations through a trust-building process, 2) embarking on small-scale unification projects that will ultimately lead to a complete integration of the two Koreas, and 3) taking practical measures to prepare for unification by strengthening unification capabilities. President Park’s unification vision is desirable in that her administration is taking a balanced approach between unification and exchanges and cooperation while past administrations took a lopsided approach either toward exchanges and cooperation or toward unification. Another positive aspect of Park’s unification vision is that she approaches unification in terms of benefit rather than cost. However, criticism can be raised given that it may not be appropriate to seek out unification while even rudimentary official dialogue has been blocked. Resuming dialogue should be a priority in ord er to achieve peaceful unification.

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