Global policy makers, experts call for efforts to unify Koreas

By Jennie Oh  |  Dec. 7, 2017 at 12:13 PM
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SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Denuclearization is not the end game but a milestone to a unified Korea, according to policy experts at a forum held in Seoul.

On Thursday, the two-day International Forum on One Korea organized by the Global Peace Foundation saw dozens of policy officials and security experts share their views on how establish a lasting solution to the North Korea nuclear crisis.

As geopolitical and military tensions continue to escalate upon the North's rapid advancement of nuclear arms development, it is in the global community's interest to resolve the fate of the Korean people -- the so-called Korea question posed at the end of World War II.

"Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the most urgent security need. Reunification of all the Korean people is the ultimate goal, the sooner the better," Joseph A. Bosco, senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in a presentation at the forum.

He said that both are moral imperatives that may take time but "rehumanization of the North Korean people is something the international community can do, without waiting for the other goals to be met."

Citing harrowing poverty and rampant human rights abuses within the reclusive state, experts called for an increase in global awareness and engagement that begins from the grass roots.

"It needs the participation of civil society, academia and private sectors, too. The reunification of Korea under a democratic model that promotes peace will be a renewed possibility that a better world is possible," said Vinicio Marco Cerezo, former president of Guatemala.

However, experts said the process should be a Korean initiative. Moon Hyun Jin, founder and chairman of the Global Peace Foundation, stressed that efforts to resolve the North Korea crisis should take course based on "a clear vision of a reunited north and south" that is rooted in universal principles and values deeply rooted in Korean culture.

Moon said the time of uncertainty can be turned into "a time when Koreans can be in charge of their own fate to architect and define their own future that is not divided but united as one to be the benefit to all humanity."

The foundation has engaged civil society and policymakers since 2009 to advance awareness and consensus for the unification of the Korean peninsula.

Its Action for Korea United project, launched in 2012, brought together some 900 civic groups for unification efforts, even launching the "One Dream One Korea" song, performed by top K-pop artists. Since its release in 2015, the song has since garnered nearly 300,000 views on YouTube.

Choo Mi Ae, chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Party, in her greeting remarks, lauded the progress of the One Korea campaign.

The main opposition Liberty Korea party representative, Hong Jun Pyo, also stressed the need to prepare for the "unification era" and a Unification Constitution.

The forum will run through Friday.

The Global Peace Foundation is affiliated with the ultimate holding company that owns United Press International.

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