Accession Number : AD1032413

Title :   E-Unification of Koreas: Dreams, Plans and Realities

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Honolulu United States

Personal Author(s) : Beal,Timothy

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Aug 2005

Pagination or Media Count : 37

Abstract : On Wednesday September 18, 2002, ceremonies were held in both South and North Korea to celebrate the beginning of work on reconnection of the railway and road systems. Hal Piper, writing in the JoongAng Ilbo the previous week had proclaimed, Unification will begin on Wednesday.183 The linking of the railways, or more precisely the passage of a train across the border, will mark the act of unification. In one physical sense, Korea will again become a single country. However, unification is also a process and in that sense only becomes meaningful when it achieves a certain a stage. For railways that would be when freight (and hopefully people) can move relatively freely and efficiently from North to South and from South to North, perhaps as the first part of the long journey on the Iron Silk Road, to use Kim Dae-jungs phrase, to Europe. So too in the electronic world: there are already a number of phone lines linking North and South; 56 at the end of August 2002 according to the ROK Ministry of Information. 184 There are a number of joint ventures in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) field as described below. E-mails can be sent, at some expense, between the North and the South currently via China.185 But E-Unification remains a long way off.Or is it? Although the gap between North and South is currently very wide, in many ways e-unification, and the raising of the Norths e-capability to a level somewhat commensurate with that of the South, is a far easier task than other aspects of unification, such as railways. Since the technology changes fast, and becomes cheaper, green-field countries can potentially make progress at a much faster rate, and much more cheaply, than pioneers. The degree by which that potential can be realized for dreams to become realities depends on many factors, but a very important one is that strange thing we call culture. In this respect, the situation in the South is of great significance.

Descriptors :   north korea , south korea , government (foreign) , planning , information systems , internet , computer programs , software development , computer graphics , electronic mail , commerce

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software
      Computer Systems
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE