Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

Common History and Culture Seen as Bridge for Improved Inter-Korean Relations

Estonia-2021-05-22-Common History, Culture Seen as Bridge for Koreans

Tallinn, Estonia—UPF held its fourth webinar on the topic of Korean reunification.

The online meeting on May 22, 2021, was titled “Korea – Common History, Common Future.”

The event was held on the occasion of the United Nations’ World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The webinar had approximately 40 international viewers participating via Zoom and about 500 views on social networks, both in English and in Russian.

With this webinar series UPF is promoting the peaceful unification of North and South Korea and also seeking ways that can help unification to take place.

The webinar’s first panelist was Andrei Litvinov, a social activist, blogger and KBS television commentator with a large following in South Korea. He reminded the participants about North and South Korea’s common history of nearly 5,000 years, during which that peace-loving, white-clad people stayed together through thick and thin. For Korea to live long, he said, its people need to take care of their common roots.

The second panelists were Antto and Jeong-Hye Hassinen, a young international couple who are the leaders for Europe and the Middle East of Youth and Students for Peace (YSP), an organization that is affiliated with UPF. They explained the vision of YSP and its activities in Europe and the Middle East as well as in Korea.

Following a question-and-answer session, a short video was shown that gave an overview of the recent UPF International Leadership Conference on all six continents.

In his closing presentation, UPF-Estonia Secretary General Avo Martinson recalled the prophetic poem “Lamp of the East,” written by the great Indian poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore to describe Korea:

In the golden age of Asia
Korea was one of its lamp bearers,
And that lamp is waiting
To be lighted once again
For the illumination of the East.

The UPF-Estonia secretary general also spoke about the unified table-tennis team that North and South Korea formed, which won the women's team gold medal in the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan.

That victory was the inspiration for the One Korea football tournament which has been held three times in Estonia.

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