North Korea

What Do We Know and Do Not Know?

This chapter examines whether existing explanations of South Korean attitudes regarding North Korea and Korean unification adequately explain changes after the declaration at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. This study uses the National Consciousness Survey Data to estimate these shifts in attitude. Our results show that South Korean attitudes shifted following the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. We show that existing explanations for generational effects do not explain the national attitude shifts on unification; our study demonstrates that a wide divergence exists between younger and the older generations, and younger generations are more likely to display a negative attitude toward North Korea and unification even after the Declaration. We also show that the prospects of unification evoke different attitudes across generations. Our results imply that the Panmunjom Declaration is a prominent political event, but it is necessary to analyze it without overestimating it.