My research examines the role of nationalism towards Korean reunification and the
development projects of Korea's border area. The Korean border is a political boundary
fonned by the 1953 Armistice Agreement which ended the Korean War. The boundary
and its surrounding areas are restricted due to security reasons and the border area is
less developed area compared to other provinces in South Korea. On the other hand, the
border area could become an area of economic cooperation between North Korea and
South Korea and a milestone of economic integration of the two Koreas. I explore how
Korean nationalism would influence concretely on inducing the reunification. And to
seek the Korean reunification strategies, I explore nationalism in Korea and relevant
case studies such as Cyprus, Germany and Yemen. Specially, I analyze that to ensure
environmental sustainability the inter-Korean border area, South Korea's development
projects for the reunification needs to be balanced against environmental concerns.
In fact, despite the increasing calls for development projects between North Korea and
South Korea, the management of the border area's environment is rarely thought of as a
common necessity. This research discusses effective development projects concerning
part of the South Korean government's reunification strategies and environmental
concerns in the border area.
This research is based on interviews with key local infonnants conducted in the Korean
border area from June 2006 to October 2006. In depth interviews were supplemented
with archival and documentary material. And the border people's popular opinion is
essential in achieving a community's support for the development projects. Therefore,
the border people's attitudes towards the development and the environment have been
surveyed in one of the South Korean border cities.
The results are discussed in relation to reunification strategies in the Korean border area
and the thesis explores South Koreans' aspiration to reunification based on Korean
nationalism. In addition, it is argued that there is a linkage between development and
environment in the border area. These findings have implications for the effective
reunification strategies and management of the border area on the Korean peninsula.
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy at Loughborough University.