What are the chances of the two Koreas being unified anytime soon?
In what was quite a conciliatory New Year’s speech, Kim Jong-Un largely spoke about unifying the two Koreas and of improving the North Korean economy.
North Korean leader reaches out to South - YouTube
Following on from this speech, the German newspaper Spiegel is now reporting that the North Korean regime;
“has enlisted the help of German economic and legal experts to lay the groundwork for foreign investment in North Korean companies.
… Such a move would be revolutionionary for North Korea , which has long been largely cut off from the rest of the world by virtue of its heavy-handed regime. The country's economy is in a shambles as a result. But since Kim Jong Un took over from his late father just over a year ago, there have been signs of change.
His New Year's address was the most obvious indication that he is prepared to embark on a path different from the one followed by his father, Kim Jong Il. Indeed, even holding such an address was a departure; it marked the first such speech by a North Korean leader since Kim Il Sung held the last one in 1994”.
German Paper Reports North Korea Preparing Economic Opening - SPIEGEL ONLINE
So what are chances of all of this coming to pass? Off the North Korean regime opening up to the outside world and two Koreas being unified at some stage in the future? Is this just more empty rhetoric from North Korea in the hope of obtaining more concessions for the country in the form of economic aid etc? Or will Kim Jong-Un’s words being backed up with actions?
As the article quoted above also rightly points out, Kim Jong-Un’s intentions if sincere will come up against fierce resistance from the military.
"The military in North Korea… will not want to give up power. … it is by no means clear whether Kim's reform efforts will be able to overcome military resistance”.