But North Korea was not tied to the Soviet Union, but to China, which shows no signs of collapsing. The adverse economic consequences on West Germany was pointed out in a New York Times article (Dec. 3, 1990) which stated that "the balance of political forces may vacillate widely and frequently over the next four years...Mr. Kohl's challenges include an inevitable increase in taxes to finance the huge costs of rehabilitating Eastern Germany."
The high cost of rehabilitating or absorbing the North Korean economy would have an unhealthy affect on South Korea.
The Construction and Economic Research Institute of Korea, which is a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Construction estimates that "the North Korean infrastructure is at around South Korea's 1975 level, and that it would cost more than $6 billion to bring it up to South Korea's 1990 level" (Noland, "Economics of National Reconciliation," 2000).
South Korean Minister of Culture and Tourism, Park Jie Won, has stated that the model of German unification, in which the economically stronger West Germany quickly absorbed the weaker East Germany "will not work on the Korean peninsula" (Sims, 2000). Park added that "South Korea's economy would not survive the high costs." Park, who was one of the major negotiators behind the historical Summit meeting, contended that a series of measured steps over the coming years would be the best way to "break down the ideological and economic barriers that have divided" the two Koreas for more than half a century. He pointed out that it would take a long time to break down these barriers since both North and South have been conditioned and socialized to regard each other as enemies, not as one people or one country.
The three principles of national unification as stated in one of the first proclamations issued by the South and the North indicate that neither country thought in terms of a h