ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
This paper examines the role of the Republic of Korea military in national reconciliation following Korean reunification. It is important to build a sound basis for unification before the need to unify Korea eventually presents itself. When considering the military as a crucial driving factor of national power in the DPRK, the success in integrating the militaries of the two Koreas will weigh heavily on the success or failure of Koreas reunification. Since the collapse of the Cold War in 1991, the Korean peninsula remains the only divided nation in the world, and the Korean peninsula has been facing a new Cold War frontier. A number of recent studies examining possible preparations for Korean reunification through political, diplomatic and economic approaches have been based on the German unification model. It is true that successful political, diplomatic and economic integration has contributed to the German national unification. However, most importantly, this was possible because the national unification was backed by successful military integration. Based on lessons from the German militarys contribution to their national unification, this paper suggests ways in which the Korean military can contribute to the eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula that take lessons from the German experience and fit these within Koreas unique circumstances.