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ILC2021 Japan, August 14: Session IV – Peace on the Korean Peninsula

Japan-2021-08-14-ILC2021 Japan, August 14: Session IV – Peace on the Korean Peninsula

Taipei, Taiwan—The fourth session of UPF-Japan’s August-September International Leadership Conference 2021 (ILC2021) was organized by UPF-Taiwan and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) on August 14, the eve of South and North Korea’s National Liberation Day. The theme of the webinar was “Peace on the Korean Peninsula from the Perspective of Korean National Liberation Day." Among the speakers was a South Korean parliamentarian, two Taiwanese legislators and two experts on Northeast Asian issues. More than 100 people participated in the program via Zoom and YouTube.

The president of UPF-Taiwan, Dr. Yen-Po Tang, gave the welcoming remarks, in which he spoke about the legacy of peace of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and the efforts of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, with whom Rev. Moon co-founded UPF, to continue his legacy.

The president of UPF-Korea, Mr. Hyun-young Lee, said: "South Korea, Japan and Taiwan must unite to lead the democratic world in the Asia-Pacific region. Peace in the region [means] building freedom and equality, and this is the starting point of creating ‘One Family Under God.’" He emphasized that a "new unified world" can be realized if human beings are willing to build up the consciousness of cooperation.

Taiwanese legislator Hon. Yi-Hua Lin spoke about her observations over the past 10 years of the relationship between the two Koreas. Although North and South Korea have had many small-scale military conflicts, they are willing to restart peaceful dialogue. They have cooperated on sports and culture programs and events; for example, they have marched together under one flag at different Olympics. And North Korea has been willing to accept humanitarian assistance from South Korea when it has suffered from a natural disaster. Considering the relationship between the two Koreas and the cross-strait, the relationship should be developed with peace as the common goal, she also said.

The second Taiwanese legislator to speak was Hon. De-wei Lee, who expressed his hope for the relationship between the two Koreas. He has seen that the current and past few South Korean presidents have worked hard to promote peace between the two Koreas, showing a willingness to build mutual trust, enhance communication, dialogue, cooperate and attempt to resolve tensions. Hon. Lee also said the Korean people have done a very good job of managing conflicts and reducing the risk of misunderstanding.

South Korean congressman Hon. Jae-kwon Shim remarked that Taiwan has deep ties with South Korea that go back decades. With support from President Chiang Kai-shek at the Cairo Conference in October 1943, Korea’s independence could eventually be restored. In recognition of President Chiang’s support, the Korean government awarded the H.E. Chiang the Order of Merit for National Foundation, the Daehan Minguk Jang, First Class in 1953. Hon. Shim also commented that it is significant that this seminar on the peaceful development of the Korean Peninsula is taking place on the eve of the anniversary of the National Liberation Day of two Koreas.

Afterwards, two experts on Northeast Asian issues spoke: Prof. To-hai Liou and Prof. Ming Lee, both of whom are professors at and previously were heads of the College of International Affairs of National Chengchi University, Taiwan. Prof. Liou is also the former director of the International Cooperation Office of the university. Prof. Lee is the director of the Korean Research Center at the university and has served as the host of the Foreign Policy Public Forum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Korean Studies Association.

Prof. Lee made six suggestions: 1. peace first, then reunification; 2. implement confidence-building measures; 3. promote substantial economic and cultural exchanges; 4. restart the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear issue; 5. great powers release goodwill without deliberate obstruction; 6. actively create a community with co-prosperity for all life on earth.

Prof. Liou said that the key to the reunification of North and South Korea lies in the will and determination of the leaders of both countries, and that that is vital for improving bilateral relations. He also cited the reunification of Germany as an example.

The chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)-Taiwan, Rev. Tae Suk Jung, gave the closing remarks in which he highlighted the importance of the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula from a Korean perspective. He explained that the Korean War (June 1950 to July 1953) was indeed a war in which two systems and ideologies collided on a worldwide scale. Therefore, it was not just a war between nations, but a world war in which two camps: the unified communist world and the free nations of the United Nations were at war with each other. Thus, the Korean Peninsula can be regarded as a microcosm of the world. If a successful solution can be found in South Korea, it will not only resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, but also solve the world's problems.

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