Vice Unification Minister Kim Chun-sig said in a meeting with Buddhist leaders in Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, that the country has witnessed rapid changes in the past 20 years and forecast that this trend will continue in the future.
The official said, in particular, countries whose leaders are not elected by popular vote are facing tough challenges, adding the spirit of democracy and change has reached Asia and is spreading in the region.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took over control of the communist country in late 2011 after the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il. The late leader also inherited power when North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung died in 1994.
The vice unification minister stressed that dictatorships are crumbling and South Korea must seek out chances to unite with the North in such rapidly changing times.