KfW economist Norbert Irsch told the Maeil Gyeongje that South Korea that while German unification was a political success, it caused a lot of economic headaches. To avoid or lessen these problems, Korea should begin making detailed plans for reunification and, most importantly, make sure said reunification takes place slowly.
Like over a full generation—30 years—slowly.
He also advised that structures be created so that everyone involved—South Korea, North Korea and the surrounding powers—benefits economically as the two Koreas prepare to reunify. In particular, he liked the pipeline project that would take gas from Russia to South Korea through the North.
Marmot’s Note: It would be nice if the South got the time to prepare. Unfortunately, I don’t think North Korea’s going to be with us for much longer, and North Korea’s peculiarities make it difficult to build mutually beneficial structures at any rate. South Korea’s probably going to have reunification forced upon it sooner rather than later—in the short to medium term, it’s most likely going to be a mess. On the bright side, in the long term, we’re all dead anyway.