Click on the session titles for the session reports and videos.

UPF’s Europe-Middle East branch completed an online International Leadership Conference from June 10 to 30, 2021, focusing on a peaceful future for the Korean Peninsula. The theme was “Toward the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula: Peace and Security.”

The conference was the first in a series of three International Leadership Conferences organized between June and August 2021, following the launch of Think Tank 2022 on May 9, 2021.

Think Tank 2022 is a worldwide alliance of experts from a wide range of professional fields---government, academic, civil society, faith-based organizations, the media, business, and the arts--- who will work together and pool their best insights as to how peaceful reunification can be accomplished in the coming years.

Eminent political leaders, diplomats and scholars from Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East attended the six webinars of the ILC, two of which were jointly organized with UPF-USA. The ILC was held simultaneously in 5 regions of the world, including, Africa, Asia, Japan, and North and South America.

The question of Korea’s peaceful reunification was addressed from various perspectives, and constructive recommendations were proposed.

Preliminary Session  - "Korean Peninsula: Armistice and Effect of the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission)"

June 10th, 2021, 10:00 CET

Chantal Chételat Komagata, Coordinator of UPF for Europe Major General Patrick Gauchat, Head of the Swiss delegation to the NNSC at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Dr. Claude Béglé, Entrepreneur and former Swiss MP Dr. Marek Aleksander Czarnecki, Lawyer and former Polish member of the European Parliament Mélanie Komagata, Post-graduate student of East Asian studies at the University of Geneva

The moderator for this preliminary session was Chantal Chételat Komagata, the coordinator of UPF for Europe. She hinted at a new paradigm in which the people of North and South Korea, independent of their increased economic and cultural gap, would cooperate with one another and share mutual prosperity based on common values. She then introduced the keynote speaker, Major General Patrick Gauchat.

Major General Patrick Gauchat, the head of the Swiss delegation to the NNSC at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) near Panmunjom. General Gauchat presented an inclusive report on the reality of the armistice on the Korean Peninsula, how it evolved from 1953 until now, the situation in the DMZ, as well as the role and impact of the NNSC in contributing to peace across the demarcation line.

General Gauchat gave a very precise presentation explaining many details unknown to most people. He pointed out that the initial separating line drawn after World War II between the United States and the Soviet Union was exactly on the 38th parallel but that this line was changed after the Korean War to what it is now.

The general pointed out that as the Korean Peninsula is surrounded by superpowers and has many territorial issues, particularly small islands, “Whatever is happening on the Korean Peninsula has an effect on disputes.” He said that Northeast Asia “doesn’t have a de-escalation system, [unlike] Europe with OECD [the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development].”

He described the NNSC as neutral and independent, with all published reports and discussions limited to the parties without involvement of other governments. From the four European nations chosen to secure the positions at the DMZ from August 1953, the two former satellites of the Soviet Union on the North Korean side of the line, Czechoslovakia and Poland, were dismissed in the 1990s, and only the Swiss and Swedish delegations remained. Although the NNSC proposed that two other nations replace them, this hasn’t been realized yet.

The respondents were Dr. Claude Béglé from Switzerland and Dr. Marek Aleksander Czarnecki from Poland, two members of the recently launched UPF initiative Think Tank 2022, a worldwide group of experts in politics, academics, religion, business and the media that contribute to Korean reunification.

Dr. Claude Béglé, an entrepreneur and former Swiss MP who has visited North Korea, expressed that the problem is not just between Seoul and Dr. Claude Béglé, the founder and president of Symbioswiss and former member of the Swiss Parliament, had been at the DMZ with a team of parliamentarians just before 2017. Although the border remained sensitive because of the importance of DPRK land armed forces and the proximity of Seoul, he said that—contrary to the situation in 1953—a military offensive through the DMZ was not likely to happen, and the threat now was mainly nuclear and in the field of cyber-attacks.

Dr. Marek Aleksander Czarnecki, a lawyer and former Polish member of the European Parliament, explained the role of Czechoslovakia and Poland on the side of North Korea, but only until the 1990s, due to “the changes in the political landscape after the fall of the Berlin Wall.” It was the dissolution of Czechoslovakia that initiated the withdrawal of Czech representatives to the NNSC at the northern side of the Military Demarcation Line.

The session concluded with questions and ansers to the panelists by Mélanie Komagata, a post-graduate student of East Asian studies at the University of Geneva.

Session I - “The State of Relations Between USA, China and Russia”

June 24th, 2021, 17:00 CET

 Dr. Michael Jenkins, president of UPF International Mr. Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in the United States   Mr. Guy Taylor, the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times  Dr. Georgy Toloraya, Director of the East Asia section at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences

This session was jointly held by UPF Europe Middle East and UPF North America.

The moderator, Dr. Michael Jenkins, president of UPF International, introduced the session and the ILC series, emphasizing the need for co-operation between the 6 countries involved with the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in the United States, expressed concern that current US policy encourages Russia and China to come closer together by antagonism toward the United States, which needs to be prevented. The US should not underestimate Russia, which has a significant nuclear threat, and should consider Russia’s sensitivity regarding Eastern European countries. A compromise could be found about the Ukraine and Georgia, he said. Human rights will always be an issue, and this is unlikely to change.

China is a tougher issue, with a bigger economy and having relations with US allies. The main issue is the US domination in East Asia. The USA would not tolerate China’s presence in their backyard in the way they themselves stand in China’s backyard. The issue of Taiwan needs de-escalation. China has weaknesses, even economically, so the USA need to consider the long term and emphasize peace. He expressed hope that new leaders may seek peace in the future.

Mr. Guy Taylor, the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, advised to consider the history of the past 70 years to understand the present 3-way dynamic between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. Today the US is increasingly concerned by China’s rise as an economic and military power and the risks of conflict are real. During the recent Biden-Putin summit, Chinese and Russian media reports attempted to project unity between Russia and China against the US.

The goal of the Biden administration is to free up US foreign policy to concentrate on China and not to be sucked into quagmire conflicts with Russia. The Nuclear Arms control or “strategic stability” agreements have been eroded by the development of more sophisticated weapons. China is not a party to START but should bear a greater responsibility in these nuclear arms agreements. The question to ask is, “What is the strategic benefit for Russia and China to keep the North Korean nuclear regime going?”

Dr. Georgy Toloraya, Director of the East Asia section at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explained that in Russia, and in the BRICS countries in general, the overwhelming view is that the old post-liberal world order has passed and the world has already become multipolar. China wants to increase its political clout but doesn’t want to impose its political regime on others, he said. How does all this influence the Korean situation? Both Russia and China have a long history of cooperation with North Korea, which is their neighbor, and they are interested in maintaining the status quo.

Through its nuclear missile shield, North Korea has achieved strategic parity with the US, which brings a somewhat stable situation. However, it is unlikely that North Korea will denuclearize. We can only talk about arms control. North Korea wants equal and meaningful dialogue with the US, and there is little prospect for Korean reunification soon. The best scenario is for North Korea to become a “conventional country”, cooperating with its neighbors - but, to get there, there is a need to diminish the sense of danger and threat on both sides.

Session 2 - Commemorating the 71st Anniversary of the Korean War

Date: June 25th, 2021 – 14:00 CET

Mr. David Fraser Harris, Secretary General, of UPF Middle East and North Africa Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Chair of UFP Europe - Middle East Dr. No Hi Pak, Senior Adviser for UPF Korea Mrs. Mélanie Komagata, a post-graduate student in East Asian studies at the University of Geneva Mr. Jacques Marion, Co-chairman of UPF EUME

Mr. David Fraser Harris, Secretary General, of UPF Middle East and North Africa, the moderator, introduced this session as part of a global series held simultaneously all over the world. Two more ILC webinar series are to follow in July and August 2021, he said.

Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Chair of UFP Europe - Middle East, said that the ILC 2021 webinar series commemorates the historic visit by UPF’s founders, Dr. and Mrs. Moon, to c=Chairman Kim il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, 30 years ago. Both founders, born in what is now North Korea, went through WWII and the Korean War, as refugees in their own country, which explains why they have worked ever since for peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean War could be described as a clash between the democratic and communist worlds. The Korean Peninsula has been divided between North and South Korea since the armistice signed in 1953. While today hope for a peaceful reunification has dwindled, especially among the young generation, UPF Korea is determined to give them hope. The Headwing vision proposed by Dr and Mrs. Moon aims at embracing rather than destroying one’s enemy or opponent.

A short video about the Korean War and the creation of Little Angels, the Children’s Folk Dance Company was shown. Link.

Dr. No Hi Pak, Senior Adviser for UPF Korea, gave an overview of the Korean War. At the end of WWII, the Korean Peninsula was divided at the 38th parallel. On June 25th, 1950, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, with the support of the Soviet Union, invaded the southern half of the peninsula, under the pretext of ‘liberating’ it. In response, the United Nations Command was formed, 16 countries sent troops and 5 countries gave medical support to come to the rescue of South Korea.

Dr. Pak testified about his brother Bo Hi Pak, who had entered the Korean Military Academy only three weeks before the Korean War broke out. When his class of 300 new cadets was sent to the frontline, one hundred were killed. His brother prayed that he would devote his whole life to the will of God if he survived the war. This is what he did after meeting Dr. Moon.

Since Dr. Moon passed away in 2012, his spouse Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has been leading all providential tasks. She said that to assure peace in Northeast Asia and the world, the ideological confrontation between communism and democracy must be abolished by achieving the unification of the Korean Peninsula. There must be not only geopolitical unification, but also the unification of values and ideology among the Koreans. This can be achieved only by practicing true love.

A short video was shown featuring the testimonies from a British, Russian and Belgian Korean War veterans. Link

Mrs. Mélanie Komagata, a post-graduate student in East Asian studies at the University of Geneva, gave a historical overview of the Korean civil and international war, in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Korean War. (To see the PowerPoint presentation, click here.) She described the historical background and motives that led to the fratricidal war.

At the end of the war, she said, the superpowers initially planned to reunite the two Koreas into an independent nation but could not find a consensus about the future of Korea. In 1948, the Republic of Korea was established in the south and the DPRK in the north. In 1950, Kim Il-sung saw his chance to invade the South. The UN voted to intervene in the war in the absence of the Soviet ambassador at the Security Council. The final ceasefire was signed in July 1953 when Chairman Kim of the DPRK accepted the status quo, but the ROK was not included among the signatories, leaving the parties technically at war.

In his closing remarks, UPF EUME Co-chairman Jacques Marion spoke about the UPF founder’s vision for the Korean Peninsula. In relation to its big power neighbors, Korea is like the ball bearing of a machine, which allows the various components of the machine to rotate harmoniously. A reunified Korean Peninsula would be a center for trade and economic development in Northeast Asia and the world, a vision embodied in the International Highway for Peace project.

The way for reunification promoted by Dr. Moon is trust based on cooperation, centering on the common values embodied in Korean culture. The division at the 38th parallel also bears witness to the division of ideologies that opposed East and West during the Cold War. For the reunification of North and South, political and economic cooperation do not suffice. Peace must be rooted in common values centering on the highest principle of peace, which is love.

Session III: “Europe and Russia’s Relations to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea”

Date: June 29th, 2021 – 10:00 CET

Robin Marsh, secretary general of Universal Peace Federation of the United Kingdom Hon. Keith Best, former Member of the UK Parliament and current Chair of UPF UK Prof. Natalia Romashkina, Head of the Information Security Problems Group at the National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Russia Dr. Edward Howell, a stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at the University of Oxford’s New College in UK Major General (ret.) Mats Engman, a Distinguished Military Fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Sweden Mr. Jack Corley, UPF President for Eastern Europe

Robin Marsh, secretary general of Universal Peace Federation of the United Kingdom, warmly welcomed the guests and speakers and introduced the moderator.

As the moderator, Hon. Keith Best, former Member of the UK Parliament and current Chair of UPF UK, welcomed and introduced the distinguished panelists and invited the audience to learn about one of the most important subjects concerning geopolitics - Europe and Russia's relationship to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Prof. Natalia Romashkina, Head of the Information Security Problems Group at the National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Russia, began by briefly sharing about her family connection with Kim Il Sung and Kim Jeong Il during her childhood in Russia. She then spoke of President Putin’s recent assessment of the high level of nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula, caused by the combination of DPRK missiles and UN imposed sanctions.

The US refusal of Russia’s request that the UN lift economic sanctions during the pandemic will be an obstacle to the denuclearization process, she said. As the situation on the Korean Peninsula is now a global issue, Russia hopes that not only the US and Russia catalyze change, but also that the 6 party talks can resume, with European support. Measures of trust need to be restored, she concluded.

Dr. Edward Howell, a stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at the University of Oxford’s New College in UK, shed light onto moments of attempted reforms in recent world-history to underline the complexity of change on the Korean Peninsula. He analyzed the Korean issue focusing on 3 points: the leaders and decision makers involved, the regions involved, and the broader perspective of the relationship between nations and world level systems that maintain peace and security.

Taking into account these numerous facets, he said, instead of constantly focusing on the end goal, we ought to pick at this problem one careful step at a time, the ultimate question being “How can we build trust?” He suggested that the US change their strategy to see more progress, changing the goal from total denuclearization to something realistically attainable as a first step, such as threat reduction to its region or the US.

Major General (ret.) Mats Engman, a Distinguished Military Fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Sweden, co-headed the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NSCC) in Panmunjom from 2015 to 2017. Referring to the experience of Sweden, a neutral nation, he spoke of the need, in a competitive security environment, to promote the rule of law, predictability and transparency in order to reduce risk and advance stability. He noted, from his own experience, that there are also major political, economic and cultural differences regarding Korea.

He shared potential points of action on the Peninsula, including a renewed participation of alliance, more dialogue between Russia, China, and Europe, and supporting the DPRK and offering humanitarian relief regarding the Covid pandemic. He concluded that although Sweden and East Asia are far apart, there are many similarities allowing his country to act as a facilitator in collective security related issues and trust building.

Mr. Jack Corley, UPF President for Eastern Europe, spoke of the “Headwing ideology” concept of UPF founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, in relation to the Korean Peninsula. He testified how Rev. Moon met hate with the wisdom of love and broke down ideological, political or racial barriers to make room for dialogue and positive exchange between conflicting parties. Establishing an automobile factory in North Korea and constructing a spiritual/cultural center in Pyongyang opened doors to the leadership of North Korea.

He concluded by highlighting Russia’s role in the process of peace on the Peninsula, as Russia and North Korea share a common border. Russia can offer a face-saving way for the North Korean leadership to make the necessary changes.

Session IV: “Biden Administration Policies and the Reunification of the Korean Peninsula”

Date: June 29th, 2021 – 20:00 CET

Mrs. Kaeleigh Moffitt, Congress Liaison of UPF Hon. Dan Burton, from the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2013) Mr. Harry Kazianis, Senior Director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest in the USA Dr. Barthelémy Courmont, Senior Research-fellow at the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) Dr. Alexander Vorontsov, Chairman of the Department for Korean and Mongolian Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russia Academy of Sciences

The session began with a brief introduction of the topic by the moderator, Mrs. Kaeleigh Moffitt, Congress Liaison of UPF, followed by four interventions by panelists with considerable insight on the field of foreign policy analysis.

Hon. Dan Burton, from the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2013) explained that the Biden Administration’s utmost priority is stabilizing the United States enough so that it can extend its influence abroad. He pointed out the risks of increasing the national debt while attempting to keep the economy afloat, as well as the risks of diminishing the US potential of protecting her interests abroad by cuts in the military budget, considering the rapid militarization of China.

A crucial factor for the reunification of the peninsula would be consistent US foreign policy with North Korea, he said, following in the footsteps of the Trump Administration. He pointed to the importance of face-to-face meetings for discussion on possible economic support of the DPRK. Referring to the Reagan Administration’s “Star Wars plan”, he mentioned the possible use of modern technology to make nuclear weapons obsolete.

Mr. Harry Kazianis, Senior Director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest in the USA, said that the drop in foreign policy actions were largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced both the US and the DPRK to turn inwards rather than outwards. At this early stage, he suggested, President Biden would most probably not look for reopening risky negotiations that lack political capital right now.

The Korean People will surely reunite, he said, but not in the foreseeable future. A collapse of the Kim Regime would stir the greatest international crisis, he concluded, forcing the international community to act quickly and effectively to secure nuclear weapons and help rebuild the society. Issuing a formal declaration ending the Korean war could be a good trigger to dialogue between the DPRK and the US, he suggested, and could serve as political capital for Kim Jeong Un.

Dr. Barthelémy Courmont, Senior Research-fellow at the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), recalled President Biden’s recent meetings with world leaders in Europe, including Korean President Moon Jae-in. “We saw smiles, good intentions, promises when it comes to multilateralism for instance, but in the end, we also saw the limits of this Administration”, he noted. Denuclearization during the Biden Presidency lacks probability. North Korea’s priority is survival.

The Trump Administration’s decisions to meet Kim Jong Un broke the status quo of previous administrations but cannot be expected from the Biden Presidency in the next four years. He stressed the importance of keeping sanctions in place to mount pressure on the country through a comprehensive international cooperation. Sanctions will not bring about democratization but can be used as a tool of negotiation.

Dr. Alexander Vorontsov, Chairman of the Department for Korean and Mongolian Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russia Academy of Sciences, agreed that the Biden administration is taking a step-by-step new approach, but questioned whether this is sufficient to restart the dialogue. As a first step toward reunification, inter-Korea communication should be restarted. Will the Biden administration allow South Korea to do something different? What is achievable is to preserve the present relatively calm situation, because this can help to prevent North Korea from conducting further nuclear or long-range missile tests.

The question is whether the Biden administration is ready to soften the sanctions, without which there is no hope for the resumption of dialogue. The only way forward, he concluded, would be the long-term co-existence of the two Koreas, during which they would cooperate economically through a gradual process of engagement, and through the agreements that were signed in the 2008 inter-Korean summit.

Session V: “The United Nations and the Korean Peninsula: Towards De- Escalation and Rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula”

Date: June 30th, 2021 – 10:00 CET

Ms. Srruthi Lekha, WFWPI’s UN Representative for Peacebuilding and Youth Leadership Amb. Dr. Jesus Domingo, Ambassador of the Philippines to New Zealand and Former Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Dr. Tariq Rauf, Former Head of Verification and Security Policy at the International Atomic Energy Agency Dr. Angela Mickley, Professor of Peace Education, Conflict Resolution and Ecology at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences Mr. Heiner W.  Handschin Director, UPF Office for UN  Relations at UNOG, Geneva

The moderator, Ms. Srruthi Lekha, WFWPI’s UN Representative for Peacebuilding and Youth Leadership, introduced the session, which aimed to provide resources and good practices for the de-escalation of tensions through disarmament and trust building strategies.

Amb. Dr. Jesus Domingo, Ambassador of the Philippines to New Zealand and Former Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said that he represented his personal views and not those of his government. He explained some of the terminology that is frequently used regarding nuclear weapons, mentioning their advantage of preventing nuclear war through the principle of “Mutually Assured Destruction”. “However, they violate international humanitarian law, he said, “violating the four principles of humanity, distinction, proportionality and necessity”.

He postulated on the positive effect it would have if most or all the money used for nuclear weapons were invested in the socio-economic development of a country. He concluded by saying that longtime experience has shown that sanctions never help to reach the goal, while severely harming the population of a country, and that other methods should be used to reach a necessary political goal.

Dr. Tariq Rauf, Former Head of Verification and Security Policy at the International Atomic Energy Agency, stated that observations have shown that the implementation of sanctions has not produced a single case where sanctions applied by the UN, or any other power, have been successful in reversing the development of weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the record shows that they have not only failed to achieve an end to the development, but in some cases even accelerated the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Moreover, there has always been a devastating effect on the population of the country. It is high time we turn to a step-by-step approach, he said: lifting or reducing sanctions while at the same time demanding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. This would gradually allow the socio-economic development of the country and the building of trust.

Dr. Angela Mickley, Professor of Peace Education, Conflict Resolution and Ecology at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences in Germany, explained that politics often produces pressure, but pressure needs to be relieved and space for experience needs to be created to allow development. She gave the examples of Northern Ireland and Namibia, where the conflicting parties were taken to a remote place to find ways of dealing with their conflict in a peaceful way. She has also been invited to South Korea by the Ministry of Unification to prepare the necessary steps for reunification.

She shared her experience in East Germany after the Unification of East and West, as her whole family lived there. It was like becoming a refugee in your own country, she said, and “having the rug pulled from under your feet”. One of the reasons was that people in communist countries were used to having someone run their life and making most of the decisions. Therefore, she believes, it will be even more so for the people of North Korea.

Mr. Heiner Handschin Director, UPF Office for UN Relations at UNOG, Geneva, said we should keep an open mind about Korean reunification, since according to the chief negotiator for German reunification, Dr. Claus J. Duisberg, at the beginning of 1989 nobody believed that this was going to happen. Regarding the United Nations’s support for this issue, he sees two major problems. First, the UN is mainly focused on the Western Hemisphere. Second, the United Nations was partisan in the Korean War and is still perceived as a hostile force by the DPRK, so even though the DPRK joined the UN and many related international organizations in 1991, there is still the feeling of distrust, even enmity towards the UN.

Mr. Handschin reported about some ongoing track II diplomacy of UPF and partners to launch the project of a UN representation for Asia in the demilitarized zone. In conclusion, he shared a vison of a larger UN Peace Complex, or even UN city that has been developed by UPF and partners, creating a landmark park and place of peaceful cooperation in the pristine natural environment around at the DMZ between the two Koreas.

Session VI: “Europe and the Korean Peninsula”

Date: June 30th, 2021 – 15:00 CET

Mr. Peter Haider, President of UPF Austria Dr. Walter Feichtinger, President of the Center for Strategic Analysis (CSA) in Vienna Mr. Alyn Ware, Director of the Peace and Disarmament Program at the World Future Council Dr. Beatrice Bischof, from the Foreign Affairs Association in Munich, Germany Dr. Dieter Schmidt, Medical doctor, Chairman of UPF Central Europe

The moderator, Mr. Peter Haider, President of UPF Austria, said that even though an armistice was signed in July 1953 to end the armed violence of the Korean War, the peninsula remained divided and no peace treaty was signed between North and South Korea. Whether lasting peace can be created in the region, still depends to a large extent on multilateral cooperation among the superpowers. Europe’s role is not over yet. It has evolved from military intervention to a soft power approach, economic cooperation with South Korea, humanitarian aid for and diplomacy with North Korea.

Dr. Walter Feichtinger, President of the Center for Strategic Analysis (CSA) in Vienna, sent a video message in which he first assessed the security situation in the Western Pacific and South China Sea and, subsequently, the impact Europe may have in this regard. The threat coming from North Korea helps the USA to provide a security umbrella for and intensify cooperation with its allies in the region, whilst it is increasingly being challenged by China. The growing tensions between China, Russia and the USA are not conducive to peace in the region.

Europe, a co-signer of the non-proliferation treaty, fears that North Korea may inspire other authoritarian regimes to have nuclear weapons. The more the USA is shifting its interests and resources into the western Pacific, the more Europe should take its security in its own hands. He concluded saying that peace in Northeast Asia much depends on how the relationship between China and the USA will develop.

Mr. Alyn Ware, Director of the Peace and Disarmament Program at the World Future Council, spoke about two initiatives he has been involved with. The first was the proposal for a Northeast Asian nuclear weapon free zone, which aims at denuclearizing not only North Korea, but also other key countries in the region and creating a cooperate security framework modelled on nuclear-free zones in other regions. The common security framework is supported by the two Koreas and Japan.

The other initiative is the Pyeongchang Peace Forum, which aims at elevating sports diplomacy. This initiative expands the peace process beyond the political sphere. The forum has demonstrated that there are many ways to move forward in a way of mutual respect for all parties. Many efforts, however, are being hampered by the comprehensive sanctions against the North Korean regime. Dr. Ware believes they should be replaced by targeted sanctions, so that there is more room for humanitarian aid and citizen diplomacy.

Dr. Beatrice Bischof, from the Foreign Affairs Association in Munich, Germany, first spoke of the Korean-German relationship which began 136 years ago. After WWII and the Korean War, both Germany and Korea were divided. The German Democratic Republic and North Korea established diplomatic relationships in 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1955. After the reunification of Germany, the ties got even stronger.

To boost people-to-people exchange, she suggested creating economic hubs in the DMZ to allow women from the North and the South to cooperate on common projects. South Koreans do not want to absorb the North as they fear the economic impact this would have. Both the North and South Koreans prefer a step-by-step approach of integration, a process of coexistence and common prosperity, whereas the US wants North Korea to denuclearize first. Germany favors a carrot-and-stick approach; they want the dialogue to continue, but also the sanctions to be supervised.

The last speaker, Dr. Dieter Schmidt, Medical doctor, Chairman of UPF Central Europe, quoted Dr. Moon, the founder of UPF: “Efforts to improve relations between two nations in political, economic or military field, will lead to unity only if they are motivated by true, selfless love.” Unlike any other religious leader, he had the courage to clearly denounce the Juche ideology in the North Korean parliament. Because of his love for North Korea and its people, however, chairman Kim Il-sung welcomed Reverend Moon as his brother.

The joy to travel freely to former East Germany and Eastern European nations, may inspire young Koreans on both sides to strive for reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Unification has proved to be a long process of relationship building and reconciliation. The division of Korea is related to WWII, which started in Europe. Therefore, Europe feels the urge to support the unification process on the Peninsula. As China, Russia, and the USA, are involved, this will have a worldwide impact.

Closing Session: “Think Tank 2022 Recommendations”

Date: June 30th, 2021 – 16:15 CET

 Mr. Jacques Marion, Co-chairman of UPF Europe-Middle East Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Chairman of UPF Europe-Middle East  Dr. Afsar Rathor, President of LIOS, Austria  Dr. Michael Balcomb, Regional President of FFWPU for Europe and the Middle East 

The final part of this webinar was the closing of the ILC webinar June series. In the Closing Session, a summary was given of Think Tank 2022 recommendations made in this ILC 2021 webinar series. The moderator was Mr. Jacques Marion, Co-chairman of UPF Europe-Middle East.

Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Chairman of UPF Europe-Middle East said that he was pleasantly surprised by the large number of participants from all over Europe, the Middle East and even from other parts of the world in this ILC webinar series on the theme of the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula. After all, the division of the Korean peninsula is not just the matter of one faraway nation, but the result of an ideological conflict at a larger scale.

Europe’s role in this context has gained momentum. UPF founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has proposed the creation of a global think tank for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. He ended with a quote from Charlie Chaplin; “We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.”

Dr. Afsar Rathor, President of LIOS, Austria made a summary of the recommendations given by the speakers who participated in the six webinars held since June 24. They will be compiled and offered as part of Think Tank 2022, to stimulate a constructive dialogue on the Korean Peninsula.

  • Confidence Building Measures (CBMs): Removal of mines in the DMZ, Joint recovery operations and increased joint exercises by North and South Koreans;
  • More people-to-people contact, comprehensive plan for family reunion, as happened before;
  • Organization of joint culture events, students exchange programmes;
  • Korean leaderships enhanced communication and engagement;
  • Address DPRK’s Security Concerns and remediating the lack of trust;
  • Revival of the Six Party talks without pre-condition of denuclearization;
  • Support corona vaccination to North Korea, by providing free vaccines; 
  • More Europeans active role, as most European countries can communicate with both North and South Korea;
  • Graduated sanction relief, particularly humanitarian aid;
  • Role of NGOs and civil societies in North Korea, to help in the aftermath of the pandemic; 
  • No compromise on Human Rights issues, not as a pre-condition but as part of the process; 
  • Turning the DMZ into a peace zone by establishing a Peace Park;
  • Foreign Direct Investment in North Korea to create jobs, prosperity, also as part of the process;
  • Vigorous UN participation, stationing UN peacekeepers in DMZ, building of 5th UN HQ;
  • Recognition: South Korea - North Korea; 
  • Nuclear Weapons Free Northeast Asia.

Dr. Michael Balcomb, Regional President of FFWPU for Europe and the Middle East, mentioned that quite a few ILC panelists spoke about the shortcomings of the peace process on the Korean peninsula. North Korea is still following the same path and there is little people-to-people engagement, whilst normal diplomacy has been challenged. Still, he has not given up hope, he said. Thinking of the thousands of soldiers who died in the Korean War, he believes their blood is crying out from the ground for the peace that everyone wants so to see. The more so as these countries that fought in the war, are no longer enemies. They play football together now.

He mentioned US congressman Matt Salmon, who on one of the ILC webinars reminded that UPF is a secular organization, while its founders, Father and Mother Moon, often said that the problems of this world should not be seen with humanistic eyes but need a spiritual, divine solution. Dr. Balcomb said that UPF is focusing on this problem and that if we take Father and Mother Moon’s words at heart, we will be witnessing a turning point in history.

JSN Boot template designed by JoomlaShine.com