The Korean War resulted in massive physical and economic damage to both nations. Since the interaction between the countries, including trade, transportation, and communications, was officially discontinued overnight, family members who were on either side of the border were forced to live apart from each other. Many of the separated families did not even know whether their family members had survived. The two governments have irregularly organized inter-Korean family reunions since the first arrangement in 2000. The success of this is debatable - as of now, those who have passed away outnumber those who were alive among the family reunion applicants.
North and South Korea have run an arms race over the past few decades which has heightened tensions between them. However, there have also been cooperative movements across sectors such as international trade, the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and most recently, their joint participation in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. In general, inter-Korean relations have been the subject of government policy on each side. South Korea adopted a sunshine policy to actively interact with North Korea from 1998 to 2008, and the new North Korean policy ultimately establishes peace on the Korean Peninsula. On June 30, 2019, a historic summit between the two Korean leaders and Trump was held at the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ). However, North Korea's denuclearization stance ended it in disarray due to the differing opinions. Most recently, tensions have been added to the Korean Peninsula as North Korea destroyed the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which was built as a result of inter-Korean cooperation.
Despite around 5,000 years of history shared in the united Korea, the prolonged division has brought about differences in almost every aspect of the Korean societies including economy, political systems, language, and culture. Regardless, the necessity as well as the possibility of Korean reunification has widely been accepted in South Korea according to a perception survey. In addition, the majority of the population has been positive about allowing defectors from the North to enter South Korea.