South Korean president proposes a reunification tax
Monday, August 16, 2010
On Sunday, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak proposed a tax to begin to save for the cost of reunifying the , despite the possibility of worsening relations with in the process. Lee expressed optimism about reunification while maintaining demands that North Korea abandon its nuclear arms ambitions.
In a speech commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Korean liberation fromrule, Lee stated he "believe[s] that the time has come to start discussing realistic policies to prepare for that day [of reunification] such as a reunification tax." The tax would fund the absorption of the North Korean economy — which is less than three percent of the size of the South Korean economy — and could cost up to $1 trillion, according to ' sources.
However, "North Korea will take a unification tax as the expression of a South Korean attempt to prepare for a sudden collapse of the North Korean government," according to Kim Yong-hyun, an analyst atin . Additionally, while opinion polls show that more than 60% of South Koreans want unification, these polls also show that South Koreans would prefer that reunification happen later due to the cost.
- Choe Sang-Hun. "South Korean Leader Proposes a Tax to Finance Reunification" — , August 15, 2010
- Brett Cole. "South Korea president calls for reunification tax" — , August 15, 2010