1   An overview of political and economic developments

A brief history

First North and South Vietnam (in 1975) and then West and East Germany (in 1990) were reunited. But North and South Korea are still divided and the land and sea frontiers survive as leftovers from the Cold War era despite the historic meeting in Pyongyang of Kim Jong Il and Kim Dae Jung, the leaders of the two countries, on 13–15 June 2000.

Former South Korean president Kim Dae Jung (IHT, 20 June 2000, p. 9): ‘We have reached a turning point so that we can put an end to the history of territorial division for fifty-five years . . . We have been a homogeneous nation for thousands of years. We lived as a unified nation for 1,300 years.’

A unified state from AD 668 to 1945, ...

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