JCRS successful in South Korean Reconciliation Talks, July 4th – 6th, 2017, Ministry of Unification, Seoul

Maria Palme was invited as key note speaker at the Ministry of Unification Education in Seoul, South Korea to share her expertise on German Unification Process and Reconciliation Policy after democratic change in 1989/90.

Fifteen members of the Unification Ministry from different economical, social and political departments were joining the course, e.g. representatives from the Korean National Policy Agency, Ministry of Science, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission and representatives from the National Unification Advisory Council. They were asking various questions about the German division and unification, for example, division of agricultural land, transit system, conversion of energy, employment and pension funds after the unification. The participants learned that East and West Germany recognized already each other before the unification and there ware continuous exchanges between them. Also peace pacts of the international society were one of the preconditions for the German unification. The culture of solidarity in German society was a driving force for integration after the unification, and it is unable, to make a master plan for unification on the Korean peninsula, because the whole process of the unification would be beyond the circle of foresight.

The Unification Ministry was founded in 1972 under President Park, Chung-Hee (1961-1979) and advocates the vision of a unified Korea as guarantor for a better future of the whole Korean Peninsula and sustainable peace in East Asia.

This two-days-workshop was organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation and took place in Seoul. The overall challenge of this event stands in line with the Foundation´s long-term political tradition of reconciliation and rapprochement theories and practical strategies well-known and practiced by West German politicians Egon Bahr and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Willy Brandt.

The Workshop was divided into four parts: a. The German-German relations, b. The political turn, c. How framing the turn and d. Challenges and transfer Potential in regard to political, social and economical aspects.

This workshop took place in preparation to a broader exchange program among ministry officials, which are delighted to have a field trip to Berlin in late summer season 2017. Overall aim of this program is to teach challenges and differences of the German successful reunification process in the 1990s and to show up transfer potential to Korean Peninsula which also made its own experiences based on its history since its division in 1945 along the 38th parallel.

Our JCRS staff, Maria Palme, appreciated the generous Korean hospitality and the enlightening dialogue atmosphere with professionals working at unification education ministry.

According to the Korean Herald from July 19th, 2017, renewing dialogue activities at the South Korean reunification ministry and the ongoing plans for a North-South Korean summit demonstrate the willingness and need for a peaceful solution of this frozen conflict area.

See link:

 

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170719000553

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