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359. Achieve Reunification Peacefully

By Choi, Ji-young 기자2015.08.25 15:04:38

   From May 6th to 8th 2015, Gyeongbok region foreign teachers traveled from Ullengdo to Dokdo. The purpose of the visit was to spread the awareness that Dokdo is Korean territory and train foreign teachers to be Dokdo ambassadors overseas. This visit was conducted by the Kyungpook National University Peace Research Institute. On the second day of visiting, the head of the institute, professor Jeon, Hyeon-su gave a lecture with the title of ‘Korean ownership of Dokdo: An historical approach’ by using old documents, antique maps and modern diplomacy documents. This article relates Jeons’ ideas about peace.

Q1. What work is conducted by the Peace Research Institute?

   The Peach Research Institute is one of the oldest research institutes in Kyungpook National University, and was established on 1 November, 1974. After the joint communique between South and North Korea in 1972, it was built to promote the development of research, policy advice and education about North Korea and the unification problem. The institute especially handles the unification problem through ‘humanistic researching’, which examines relevant history, literature, language, and religion. This is the unique feature of our institute, because others are doing social science research, which analyses statistical data. We are publishing history books related to North Korea and historic documents which are the Korean translation of the diplomacy documents of the Soviet Union about North Korea.

Q2. What is your most memorable activity?

   At the time of Korean War, many civilians were sacrificed in an incident called “the Massacre of Civilians”. In the movie “TaeGukGi: Brotherhood of War”, one of the female characters joined an organization called Guidance of Alliance. She joined in order to receive some rice. However, she was slaughtered by the government because she joined it. Because of incidents like this, we conducted a civilian survey from 2007 to 2011, along with the organization Truth and Reconciliation Commission. By clarifying of the truth, we hoped to recover the honor of sacrificed civilians and compensate for the incident.

   The Peace Research Institute has published historic documents based on diplomacy documents between the Soviet Union and North Korea, using the humanistic researching method. We made a documentary with NHK, called “Unknown escape: The truth of North Korean salvage”, in 2013 with information using our researching method. It contained research about the naturalized Japanese from North Korea after the liberation.

   The Peace Research Institute will continually publish various historical documents. As a permanent commission of the Advisory on Democratic Peaceful Unification, I am planning an exploration riding bicycles toward the truce line with students, for two nights and three days.

Q3. What do you think about the problem of the division?

   The division costs a great deal for Korea militarily and financially. In addition, security dangers such as the nuclear problem of North Korea and causing some investments from foreigners to be reduced. Solving the problem of the division will be a survival strategy which must be achieved for the growth of Korea and in order to survive in the competition with many nations. I think to solve this problem, continual conversation is needed, because it is impossible to unify in a moment. There are five steps for unification: 1) Exchange continuously and cooperate economically and culturally 2) Recover the mutually confidential relationship 3) Establish a peace structure by solving military and political problems 4) Make North Korea democratic by inducing reformation and openness 5) Unify peacefully after agreement. If unification is achieved, students will have more chances of finding employment, as the economic territory is broadened to North Korea. Moreover, they will achieve self-realization because it will be easy to reach their goals.

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