Things may look bad, but North Korea can stagger on for a long time before it collapses. The famine there, limited information seems to reveal, is due not to shortages of food but to political decisions in Pyongyang. But unification would be so costly for South Korea - about $1 trillion over 10-25 years - and a mass southward exodus so debilitating that the South will instead try to prop up the North. China will provide food, and the United States fuel, while the North muddles through with a form of apparatchik capitalism similar to Romania's, in which officials channel resources to favored groups.
THE declaration on Korea made at Cairo by the heads of the United States, British and Chinese Governments reminded the world of a problem which it had almost forgotten. Freedom for Korea is not an issue invented by the Allies to weaken Japan. During the 34 years that have passed since the Japanese annexed their country the Koreans have waged an unceasing struggle for independence.