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Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

Forum in Prague Focuses on Life in North Korea

Prague, Czech Republic - UPF-Czech Republic held a forum in Prague on June 26 on the theme "Focus: North Korea."

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The MC of the event was Professor Milan Kálal, an Ambassador for Peace who visited South Korea several times as a responsible person for student exchanges between his alma mater and the University in Pohang.

At the beginning. a short video introduced images of life in North Korea.

The first lecture, delivered by Mr. Anton Uhnak, showed the historical context of developments on the Korean peninsula. The presenter talked about the lengthy history of Korea and explained the present situation based on this historical development. In his speech he emphasized the significance of the Pacific Rim area for the future of humankind. Korea will play a significant role in the world, he said The reunification of Korea is not so easy, but there is hope that it will happen. There are many NGOs working on the unification of Korea. He said that the best philosophy for unification is that of Rev. Moon.

In the second speech, Dr. Juraj Lajda, a publisher, introduced a translation of a book on North Korea, The Cleanest Race: How the North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters. The American author, B.R. Myers, explained the real motivation of the political system in North Korea. It has to do with the myths and legends of Koreans with the image of the role of mother and a leader as a parental leader. The Koreans feel that theirs is an innocent, pure, and vulnerable nation which in this evil and dangerous world needs protection in the figure of a parental leader. This is the reason why the North Koreans are so emotionally attached to their leadership. The writer challenges the media image of North Korea and explain that it is a great mistake to compare the North Korean regime with the communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and other former communist countries.

After the lectures there was a vivid discussion. Monika Lajdova, a student at Sun Moon University in South Korea. explained during the discussion how North Korea is perceived in the South and what the students think.

The participants expressed appreciation for the lectures because people do not know very much about Korea generally, and there is a lack of relevant information. Some of them said that the lectures were very useful.

For reviews of the original English publication of The Cleanest Race: How the North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters, click here.

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