David S. Maxwell
Unification of Korea is the only acceptable outcome on the Korean Peninsula. It is the only condition that will solve three of the most intractable problems in Northeast Asia: (1) the Kim family regime’s nuclear threat; (2) the human rights atrocities and crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated on the Korean people living in the north each and every day for the past six decades; and (3) the achievement peace and prosperity in the region. It is only through unification described as “a stable, secure, peaceful, economically vibrant, non-nuclear peninsula, reunified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people,” that can bring security and stability to Northeast Asia.
There are four paths to unification: peaceful, internal regime change, regime collapse, and war. Because no one can foresee the path it will take, planning for unification has been stymied. Peaceful unification is the best but also counterintuitively the hardest to achieve. Regime collapse (that could lead to conflict) and war will result in the significant loss of blood and treasure and have global economic impact as a minimum. Further, it is possible that due to North Korean indoctrination that the Korean people living in the north may resist unification and form a resistance to conduct an insurgency against the ROK as it implements unification plans.
There is the possibility of growing internal resistance against the Kim family regime. Considering the possibility of resistance after the removal of the regime, one way to prevent it may be to co-opt the internal resistance now, give it support and whether it is successful or not, this could help prevent organized resistance to unification. It is time to take a professional approach to supporting a resistance in the north.
Keywords: Unification, Kim family regime, Dresden Initiative, resistance, unconventional warfare