Korean Unification

Part of the: 
Korea Chair
Freedom Bridge at DMZ

This research project will call upon a wide variety of experts from different disciplines to explore the various longer-term transitional issues that will arise from unification of the Korean peninsula.

The Korea Project: Planning for the Long Term

 About the Project


CSIS is undertaking a groundbreaking initiative on Korea unification in cooperation with the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California (USC). The future integration of the peninsula poses one of the greatest challenges as well as opportunities for the United States, Korea, and Asia. 

Through generous support from the Korea Foundation, CSIS and USC are looking at the longer-term problems of Korean Peninsula integration. Although a great deal of study has been devoted to contingency and near-term crisis planning for a potential collapse, this project focuses on the yet unstudied longer-term economic, political, and human security issues.

Traditionally viewed in military terms, the collapse of the DPRK and the subsequent unification of the Korean Peninsula will raise issues of environmental degradation, public health and social dislocation, as well as legal and judicial issues. Such issues will affect not only South Korea but also surrounding countries such as China, Russia, Japan, and the United States. This research project is designed to bring together a wide variety of experts from different disciplines to explore the various longer-term transitional issues that will arise from unification of the Korean peninsula.

Initiative Highlights


  • Network linking with functional experts and Korea scholars
  • Path-breaking analysis of problems and solutions to integration of the Korean Peninsula
  • Workshops with Korea experts and institutions on developing cooperative regional solutions
  • A monograph that analyzes findings and provides recommendations for strengthening cooperation and assessing future tasks for the United States, Korea, and regional and international parties

CSIS and USC are taking a multifaceted approach to developing avenues for political and technical solutions to these issues at the national, regional, and international levels.

The principal investigators for the Korea Project are Dr. Victor Cha, senior advisor and holder of the Korea Chair at CSIS, and Dr. David Kang, director of Korean Studies Institute at USC.