01/29/2007, 00.00
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Three million North Koreans to flood south in case of reunification

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
Bank of Korea report warns that costs of reunification could top US$ 900 billion. Instead, new areas of economic cooperation should be set up to reduce the gap between the two sides.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – In case of reunification of the Korean peninsula more than three million North Koreans might move to South Korea, the Bank of Korea reports.

According to the bank’s Institute of Finance and Economy, if such an exodus takes place South Korea might have to shoulder a total of US$ 500-900 billion in reunification costs because of the huge gap in standards of living.

The institute proposes South and North Korea try to reduce the economic gap through economic cooperation programmes, setting up special economic zones and using South Korean capital and the North’s cheap labour to develop the North Korean economy.

Costs of reunification could be cut to as low as US$ 300 billion and be achieved in as little as 13 years. 

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