August 11, 2010 11:43
The likelihood that the two Koreas will reunite appears to be getting slimmer.
According to the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University on Tuesday, its index which shows the feasibility of the overall integration of South and North Korea in political, economic, social and cultural aspects has declined for a second straight year.
In 2008 the index dropped 61 points to 212.2 out of a total 1,000, with a high score indicating substantial integration. Last year it went down again to 198.6, dropping for two consecutive years for the first time, IPUS said.
The index has shown ups and downs since it was established in 1989, reaching its highest point of 272.7 in 2007 when the second inter-Korean summit was held.
According to the institute’s analysis, the relationship between the two Koreas has been chilled by Pyongyang's internal instability and constant provocations, which have led to an excessively hostile stance toward the region, giving little hope to dialogue.
IPUS said that the tension could be prolonged without a change in Seoul’s policies toward North Korea, which could hamper other policies by the Lee Myung-bak administration to boost the South's global standing.
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