“Reunification will definitely come,” Mr. Lee said in a speech marking the 65th anniversary of the Koreans’ liberation from 35 years of Japanese colonial rule. “I believe that the time has come to start discussing realistic policies to prepare for that day such as a reunification tax.”Stunning. Raising taxes is never popular, but to propose them for a possibility that is pretty far down the road is amazing. And the neighbor is not going to like either:
Analysts expected an angry North Korean response.So, of course, the big question is: why now? Is this part of the tit-for-tat after the North Koreans sank a South Korean Ship in May? Perhaps. Is this a domestic political ploy? Probably not as tax increases never play well, especially when the benefits go to someone else. Could this be a sincere effort by a politician to pay now for something that is going to be costly down the road? Oh my, this could utterly shake my belief system. Bears further observation.
“North Korea will take a unification tax as the expression of a South Korean attempt to prepare for a sudden collapse of the North Korean government,” said Kim Yong-hyun, an analyst at Dongguk University in Seoul.