The degree of inter-Korean integration dropped in 2013 from a year earlier, despite the Park Geun-hye administration’s ambitious reunification campaign, a research group said Friday.
The Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University said its 2013 South-North Integration Index fell to 190.9 from 197.6 out of a perfect 1,000 a year earlier. The index measures the level of integration between the Koreas.
By sector, the index shed 2.4 points to 46.8 in politics and 4.3 points to 63 in the economy.
The social and cultural field recorded a figure of 81.1, the same as 2012.
The institute said the decline seems to be mainly attributable to unrelenting military tensions on the peninsula amid the North’s repeated provocations.
“It has been a year and six months since the launch of the Park Geun-hye administration. But a trust-building process is not in operation yet,” said the institute. “It is important to make space for various types of inter-Korean contact, exchange and cooperation in order to raise the South-North Integration Index.”
It added that Pyongyang’s planned participation in the Incheon Asian Games and the launch of a presidential panel on reunification in the South may help spur efforts to warm inter-Korean relations.
Created in 1989, the index peaked at 272.7 in 2007 when the two Koreas held their second summit talks.
It dropped to 201.4 in 2010 and 195.6 in 2011. (Yonhap)