Peace & Stability Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 10

in running the Kim Family Regime’s notorious prison camps for political dissidents—jailing up to one percent of North Korea’s population -- may seek sanctuary or anonym- ity to avoid possible public retaliation against them or Kore- an-style Nuremberg trials. The effective demobilization and reintegration of these and other North Korean security organizations into a transitional system may hinge on fore- going trials for “crimes against humanity” in favor of “truth and reconciliation” hearings. These hearings would require only public attestation of internment practices rather than entail any judicial punishments as long as camp prisoners were not killed. Long Term 8. Economic Development and Security Sector Reform. The International Aid group should not spend large sums quickly or press for foreign leases to exploit North Korea’s natural resources. Such actions contribute directly to waste and largely unsustainable projects or else engender popular animosity due to the perception of foreign exploitation. Instead, economic efforts to boost investment in key sectors should take their lead from transitional governmental bodies. Security sector reform in North Korea essentially means downsizing its bloated army, more than double that of South Korea. A new transitional governmental system will need to transform the world’s fourth largest standing army, numbering about 1 million (and 7.7 million reserv- ists). Over the longer term, converting North Korea’s war- riors into productive citizens will require greater economic development. With the North Korean security apparatus no longer soaking up to one third of the country’s gross domestic product, those finances could be diverted to more productive uses. 9. Immigration policies. Unlike the Berlin Wall, the De- militarized Zone may not come down overnight simply be- cause of its size and the number of people that could flood over the border. Over a three- to five-year period, South Korea will likely work to resolve the thorny issue of how to offer interested North Koreans the opportunity to relocate and reside permanently in South Korea. Many divided fam- ilies may be quickly reunited based on previous contacts. However, the great majority of North Koreans will require considerable long-term investments in housing, medical care, and job retraining, coupled with the establishment of trust between both long-divided peoples. At present, many South Koreans remain wary about the behavior of North Koreans, widely seen as deprived and isolated, and uncer- tain of South Korea’s ability to fund “Korean reunification.” 8 10. Cultural assimilation. Even if China is supportive of a reunified Korea and international donors assist South Korea in funding the huge developmental and immigration needs of North Koreans, the North Korean population is still likely to require one to two generations to assimilate into a unified Korean culture that accepts them with greater trust, inclusiveness, and acceptance. Whether brought on by a sudden regime decapitation, a serious pandemic, or a nuclear accident, North Korea’s col- lapse demands multi-party attention in light of the WMD stakes involved, the array of daunting tasks requiring urgent attention, and the overriding need to foster greater interna- tional cooperation. China may calculate that multi-party talks on these issues, once grasped by the North Korean side, risk provoking hostile acts against South Korea that would require proportionate responses. But, China should realize that the North Korean leader, heading the only 21st-century authoritarian dynasty, sets up far more serious challenges for the world in the event of his demise.