"On some estimates, reunification could cost Seoul $2,000bn-3,000bn, up to three times South Korea’s annual output. Investors’ current composure implies a belief this possibility is still remote – and South Koreans will surely hope, for now, they are right."
No doubt the bill for unification will be substantial. But I think, on balance, the South Korean people would regard this as a price worth paying for the liberation of their fellow countrymen (not to mention family members) from the Stalinist prison in the north. They might also welcome an end to the threat of nuclear annihilation that has been hanging over them. Or should West Germans have prayed for the continuation of the Cold War on the grounds that German re-unification might spook the Frankfurt stock exchange?