Korea Entering a Great Phase

Korea Entering a Great Phase

North and South Korea flagFor way too long, the Korean peninsula has often been in the news for the wrong reasons than the ones that need to be applauded. For instance, the incredible rise in prosperity by South Korea that has no parallel in the world, has not been highlighted much. It managed to move from the status of being one of the poorest countries in the world to a developed, wealthy, and industrialized country in the space of a generation, and that is an incredible achievement indeed.

It is not surprising that Korean brands like Samsung, Hyundai, and LG have long dominated consumer markets around the world. Supporting the rise has been a host of support industries like document translation services and translation agencies. However, not that much good news ever came out of North Korea over the last more than six decades, with that nation being known more for its poverty and dangerous nuclear posturing than anything else.

The only nation that seemed to have any clue and indeed trade relations with that isolated and highly militarized nation was the fellow communist nation, China. No doubt there would have been a premium on Chinese translators and Chinese simultaneous interpreting and simultaneous translation agencies all these years! That being stated, the recent détente between North and South Korea brokered by the U.S. promises to usher in a great new phase in the destiny of the two nations and indeed the Northeastern Asian region.

Already, one can see support industries like document translation services, translation agencies, simultaneous interpreting, and simultaneous translation agencies gearing up to serve the needs of businesses seeking to expand their reach to markets across the border. The peace dividend accruing from the thaw in the relations of the two Koreas is going to be significant in the view of experts on the matter.

The most important impact is likely going to be on the South Korean stock market that has traditionally been undervalued, partly on account of the situation with North Korea.[1] If peace takes hold of the region, as many are sure will happen, the valuations of shares listed on the South Korean stock market are bound to rise, leading to an enhanced ability to raise finance for South Korean companies.

North Korea, of course, has far more to gain from the peace process with its economy being able to integrate with the world economy, with the concomitant impact upon its underdeveloped economy. With its young demographic makeup implying plenty of low-cost labor availability, North Korea is probably poised to put in place an economic upsurge similar to what China and Vietnam have managed in the past.

The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems to be playing all his cards right judging by his recent economic policies back home where he seems to have gone some distance in opening up the economy to market forces since he took charge. By smoking the peace pipe with President Trump, Kim has shown that he is committed to taking North Korea away from its obsession with demonizing America and arming its poor nation to the teeth against the perceived existential threat from that quarter. In its place, he would in all likelihood expect the economic isolation of North Korea to end and its economy to develop rapidly to meet the aspirations of its people.

However, things are bound to take time to shape up, given the hostile nature of North Korea’s relations with South Korea and the rest of the world over the last nearly seven decades. That in case does not in any way lessen the import of the fact that the recent rapprochement between the two Koreas is a historical and seminal event comparable with the warming of the U.S. and Soviet relations following summit meetings between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the latter part of the last century, and the earlier improvement in Sino-U.S. relations under President Richard Nixon.

Even though it is early days, in so far as the final resolution of the Korean issue resulting in the demilitarization of the region is concerned, there are certainly high hopes that this will happen one day. In any case, it is a fact that the Korean situation has improved to the extent that from becoming an international nuclear flashpoint it has ceased to be a source of major international worry. Other regions like Syria and Iran seem to worry the international community and take up its time far more than the Korean situation does.

That by itself is a major accomplishment and something that was thought impossible less than a year back. The mellowing down of North Korea and its agreeing to engage with the U.S. and South Korea is definitely a major foreign policy achievement of the Trump administration and is something they can rightly be proud of.

However, one has to guard against being overly optimistic and be ever-careful with the negotiations ahead, as the North Korean regime has traditionally been very distrustful of the U.S.’s intentions towards the regime in power and are going to agree to actually move towards dismantling their nuclear weapons program over long, tortuous, and protracted discussions and negotiations.

That being stated, all the concerned stakeholders- North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S. seem to be holding firm to their commitment to script a new beginning of peace and prosperity in the region. This will augur well for other nations that have contiguous borders with North Korea like China and Russia. One would not be surprised if Chinese translators and Russian translators in the region are already rubbing their hands in glee in the expectation of greater economic activity in the region leading to a rise in demand for their expertise and services.

As a matter of fact, if peace does come to Northeast Asia, it could become an economic power zone comparable to the one that exists in the Southeast Asia. Now that would really be an ideal culmination of all the efforts that went towards making the recent Singapore summit meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim the success that it seems to be turning out to be.

  1. https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/koreas-peace-dividend/
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Philip Rosen

Philip Rosen

Capital Linguists’ certified translation service and interpreters service was founded on Philip’s vision of a super-elite translation and interpreting force. Drawing on other high level interpreters and translators, he leads an exclusive cadre of highly skilled, professional language specialists.

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