Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Proposal for Unification of the South and North

August 2015 is the 70th year of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule, as well as the 70th year of division. Many are the events remembering the joy and sorrow of independence and division of the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea Railroad Corporation launched the Eurasia Friendship Express railway project, which traveled close to 9,000 miles to Germany. Writing in the Peace Weekly a columnist, professor in social sciences, mentions how empty he felt when what was central was missing: because of the DMZ (demilitarized zone) the Express started from China, and the Korea travelers had to go by plane to Beijing to start the trip, and not from Seoul, Korea.

His sadness comes from this reality. Before we talk of prosperity from unification,  we have to remember we still remain with the cease fire negotiations of July 27, 1953. 'The land of the morning calm' is not calm with the North and South facing each other with armaments: after the Near East an area where we have the danger of war.Over a hundred years ago with the Sino-Japanese - the Russian-Japanese wars the Korean peninsula was far from peace, and  patriot  An Jung-keun (Thomas) was willing to give his life for peace in East Asia. His idea for peace was not a balance of powers and dependence on the powerful, but rather wanted it based on the spiritual, for even if history changes you have the vital forces of life present. He was not a nationalist but a peacemaker, working for reconciliation and collaboration between the three countries of the far East.

An's dream was to have a Pan-Asian union of the three countries of China, Japan and Korea like the European Union, long before its time. One of his unusual proposals was to have the representatives of the three countries meet the pope and to vow peace. The countries would get the trust of the world with such a gesture. It was obviously not accepted by Hirashi the chief justice of the court.

This suggestion has been proven to be effective in recent history. John Lewis Gaddis an authority on  the Cold War gives Pope John Paul some credit for the end of this history. Pope Francis also gets credit for the reconciliation of Cuba and the United States. 

North Korea is not very sympathetic to the United Nations, and it goes back to the time of the Korean War. The professor proposes a plan that is open to ridicule he knows, but the descendants of Patriot An are scattered throughout the world and are both in the South and North Korea; he is respected by both divisions of Korea. He would like them to all meet under the sponsorship of the Church and have the pope serve as the arbitrator. There is no chance of such a proposal being accepted,  but it would be the dream that  An Jung-keun had over 100 years ago.

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