Posted : 2012-03-29 17:09
Updated : 2012-03-29 17:09

Forum to focus on peace on peninsula

Rhee Tshang-chu
By Kang Hyun-kyung

Some 100 experts, academics and government officials will gather in Manila in June to discuss ways to bring peace and stability to the Korean Peninsula to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War (1950-53).

Rhee Tshang-chu, chairman of the Korean Global Foundation (KGF), the host organization of the international seminar, said the capital city of the Philippines was chosen as the venue as the Southeast Asian country is one of the dozens of countries that sent troops to South Korea during the bloody war.

During the two-day forum, participants will exchange ideas on unification of the two Koreas, geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula, and regional cooperation to achieve peace and stability through six separate sessions.

Rhee, also a distinguished professor of St. Petersburg University in Russia, said the rise of Asia at the center stage of global politics and economics would make unification of the two Koreas necessary as peace building holds the key to prosperity in East Asia.

“During the seminar, experts are expected to explore new approaches to unification. They will also engage in rigorous debate on the role of overseas Koreans as a key brigade to achieve unification,” Rhee said.

The peace forum will take place to mark the 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. In addition to the Philippines, dozens of countries, including the United States, Canada and Ethiopia, sent troops to help South Korea fight the communist North.

Their sacrifice and dedication to democracy helped this country rise from the ashes of the war in the 1950s and achieve a robust economy and free democracy, which no one ever imagined after the devastating war.

Participants of the global forum will review past efforts for peace and what needs to be done to achieve sustainable peace on the peninsula.

The Manila gathering will mark the 13th KGF global forum. Previous forums were held in places including Sydney (2011), Brussels (2010), and Moscow (2006).

International foreign policy experts, former and current government officials and scholars will debate under the title of “New Asia for Peace and Prosperity and Reunification of Koreas.”

Joining the global seminar will be Rhee; Kim Byung-kook, chancellor of the National Diplomatic Academy; Lee Ki-su, chairman of the Sentencing Committee for the Supreme Court; Lee Jong-seok, former unification minister; Lee Sang-seok, chief executive officer of the Hankook Ilbo; and Yoo Ho-yeol, professor at Korea University.

Fidel Valdez Ramos, former president of the Philippines, is scheduled to deliver a speech at the reception on June 25.

International participants at the global event will include Glyn Ford, a former member of the European Parliament (1984-2009); Rudiger Frank, president of the University of the Philippines; Yuri Akimov, professor at St. Petersburg University; Quansheng Zhao, professor at American University; and Scott Snyder of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
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