South Korea, actually, could learn a lot about unification process from the way Japan annexed Joseon Korea with “Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty” back in 1910.
North Korea today is very very similar to Joseon Dynasty; it is obvious by seeing the pictures and by reading historical witness accounts of Isabella Bird, George Kennan, Claude-Charles Dallet, and Alleyne Ireland.
The books by Professor Alleyne Ireland and Professor Atul Kohli make it clear that the common perception in the West — the Japanese invaded Korea, exploited Korean people and committed atrocities — is a myth. If Japan is to annex North Korea right now, kick out Kim Jong-un and liberate majority of the North Koreans, wouldn’t they welcome Japan’s annexation with open arms? That was exactly what happened in 1910.
“The New Korea” by Professor Alleyne Ireland
Those who resisted were the ruling class brutal oppressors called Yangbans. They resisted Japan because they wanted to keep their privileged status and their slaves. Joseon Korea was parody of China without robustness. Japan reformed and modernized The Degenerate State and civilized the people(The Product of a Decayed Civilization).
It is naive to think Japan, at the time, as a country’s policy, unselfishly gave a helping hand. It was more like a self-defense against European imperial powers in Asia. It is true that many Japanese helped Koreans modernize by their own, by failed. It was impossible to modernize Korea without outside force.
But, today’s South Koreans are taught that Japan “invaded” by force and took away everything and “the glorious independence fighters” fought against Japan and they won the independence and all that. At least, that is the South Korean national narrative of history. I mean that’s the leftist nationalistic ass holes are saying.
They are changing history from annexation (becomes one) to “forceful occupation”. They are changing the memory of Koreans volunteered to fight as Japanese and together with Japanese into fighting against Japanese. Oh boy… If Japan didn’t lose in WWII, Koreans were like Hawaiians (Annexation of Hawaii, 1898 by the USA) today. (a little known fact: Hawaian King met Japanese emperor and “He proposed (to Japanese emperor Meiji) a league of Asian nations as a counterweight to the European powers. He spoke of Asian countries as oppressed by Europe, and suggested that Meiji head the league.” just like Koreans did.)
South Korea could learn a lot (including misjudgments Japan made during the period) from real history if South Korea stop fantasizing history.