Berlin, Germany—An international symposium co-hosted by UPF discussed how lessons of German reunification can be applied in the Korean Peninsula.
The symposium, titled “30 Years of German Re-Unification and the Vision of a New United Korea,” brought together political leaders and scholars from Germany, Korea, Europe, Japan and the United States.
2019 marks the 30-year anniversary of the reunification of Germany. For the Korean people, this is a time when the reunification of the Korean Peninsula is a foremost concern and a realistic possibility.
The symposium was held at the Grand Hyatt hotel on June 21, 2019, by the Donghwa Research Institute, the academic branch of the large South Korean Association of Displaced People from North Korea, and co-hosted by the Universal Peace Federation.
Dr. Claus Duisberg, a German diplomat who played a key role under Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the process of German reunification, spoke on “German Unification: Problems, Opposition and Realization.” South Korean diplomat Hon. Chang See-Jeong analyzed the reunification process in the context of Germany 30 years ago and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Two former ministers of defense, Dr. Werner Fasslabend from Austria and Hon. Alexander Vondra from the Czech Republic, explained how their countries, on the front line of the East-West conflict, went through radical change, and they offered their perspectives for the future of Korea.
The German Federation of Expellees—native Germans expelled from their countries as a result of 20th century conflicts—was represented by Mr. Stephen Rauhut, the national chairman of the Homeland Association of Silesia, and Mr. Ernst Strohmaier, chairman of the Homeland Association of Germans from Russia. They described the situation of expellees in former East Germany and of German and Korean minorities in the former Soviet Union.
After Japanese and American scholars offered their views on the prospects for Korean unification, Dr. Fasslabend, the former Austrian minister of defense, concluded the symposium with a personal reflection on the vision, wisdom and patience needed to bring to pass a long-expected hope of reunification.
29th International Symposium on Unification Thought
Following the symposium on German and Korean re-unification, the 29th International Symposium on Unification Thought was held on the next day, June 22, also at the Grand Hyatt hotel. The meeting was co-hosted by the HJ Academy of Arts and Sciences and UPF Europe, and co-sponsored by Professors World Peace Academy, the Unification Thought Institute and the Cheon Il Guk Academy.
Dr Jin Sung-bae, chair of the HJ Academy of Sciences and Arts, opened the symposium, which was attended by scholars from Korea, Europe and the United States. The central theme of the symposium was the application of the principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.