International Conference on Unification of the Korean Peninsula and International Peace
On the 24th and 25th of September 2021, a two days hybrid conference took place at the Korea University focusing on the theme 'Unification of the Korean Peninsula and International Peace: Theoretical Consideration, Practical Tasks and Prospects for Unification (Vereinigung der Koreanischen Halbinsel und internationaler Frieden: Theoretische Ueberlegung, praktische Aufgaben und Aussicht auf Vereinigung)'. Given the occasion of 31 years of German reunification, 32 high-profile German and Korean academia and experts were invited who shared insights on how a potential Korean unification could appear by considering and contrasting the German experience. The conference consisted of four sessions, each followed by a common theme with subtopics to allow an interdisciplinary discussion on a potential unification of the Korean Peninsula and International Peace.
Session 1 focused on 'unification for freedom and freedom for unification' and provided a discourse on unification by shedding light on unification and peace in the East Asian context, the division system, china-issue, and on an East German perspective on the German unification. The following session dived into the topic of unification education before and after the unification by emphasizing the significance to allow students forming opinions upon the idea of unification. It would be crucial to enable historical awareness but ensure adaptability in terms of teaching history given the changes for instance in culture and migration.
The third session endeavoured the inner-Korean exchange, history, and presence by presenting fields of cooperation in sustainability, technology, science, medicine, and health management. It was completed by Prof. Dr. Kai Frobel who highlighted natural and cultural heritage along the former wall through Germany, known as the Green Belt. The conference was concluded by the topic of discussion on socio-cultural integration since the unification in Germany including a reflection of a potential Korean scenario. Overall, the multifaceted topics presented on unification, lively debates and promising feedback from the audience have reflected the pivotal importance of this conference.
This event was made possible thanks to the close cooperation with the Faculty of Liberal Arts of Korea University, Tuebingen Center for Korean Studies, Center of Korean History of KU, and Korea University German Studies Institute.