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The Korean peninsula / Google

South Korea is buzzing about plans — including taxes — to pay for the reunification of North and South Korea. Reports the Korea Times:

Despite the lingering tension, President Lee Myung-bak cited the need to map out a blueprint and use taxpayers’ money to prepare for the unification. “It is necessary to use the taxpayers’ money to cushion the unification cost, which analysts say would be astronomical,” said the official requesting anonymity. Lee has since said that South Korea has come closer to unification with North Korea and that the event would come unexpectedly, stressing unification is not a matter of choice, but a must…Experts estimate it could cost South Korea more than US$1 trillion to unify with the North, whose per capita income is about 5 percent the size of the Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

North Korea has denounced the planned tax as a war tax to support a South Korean invasion of the North.

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