Reunified Korea 'Would Distance Itself from U.S.'

      December 12, 2012 13:58

      A U.S. intelligence report predicts that in 2030 a reunified Korea will try to free itself from U.S. influence. The National Intelligence Council under the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence made the forecast in a report titled "Global Trends 2030."

      The report forecasts that Northeast Asian countries will be economically more dependent on China but continue to rely on the U.S. for security. It said China rather than the U.S. is now the biggest trading partner of Australia, India, Japan and Korea, but predicted they will maintain security alliances with Washington at the same time.

      But after reunification, the report said, Korea may seek to undertake "strategic adjustments" to free itself from U.S. influence. With the disappearance of the "North Korean threat," which is the main reason for the Seoul-Washington alliance, the report said, Korea could reduce its dependence on the U.S. and seek to pursue an independent development model.

      The report predicts that Brazil, China, India and Korea will become the major players in the global economy in 2030. But one concern facing Korea is its rapidly aging population, which is also shared by Taiwan and most European countries.

      Another challenge the world will face until 2030, according to the report, is the proliferation of North Korea's nuclear weapons. The report projects a "worst-case outcome" of the two Koreas remaining divided and North Korea continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction.

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