In the Catholic Peace Weekly, a university professor gives the readers some thoughts on Norwegian and Korean Peace.
He introduces us to the book Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper. During World Win II in his book, Popper considers the political philosophy of Plato Hegel and Marx and their historicism (the theory that social and cultural phenomena are determined by history) as helpmates to the Nazi totalitarianism. At the same time being enemies of the open liberal society of much of the West.
He shocked the existing academia by reinterpreting the enemy of the 'open society' in a democracy. Like the enemies of an open society, many facts we take for granted can be distorted and deliberately reconstructed by politics, intellectual, and industrial powers without our knowledge, and eventually transformed into 'enemies'.
Only the outcome of what we can understand directly and socially agree upon should be acknowledged as 'social facts'; proposals not agreed upon, introduced without filtration from outside, pose a danger of turning into enemies of an open society.
Depending on how much peace thinking has been internalized and closely coupled with the daily lives of its citizens, peace can be a true ally, an object of sustainable policy. The degree of internalization of peace is an important measure in the difference between Norwegian and Korean peace thinking.
Norway, with its natural modifiers as a 'peaceful country' is one of the leading countries in peace and democracy in the international community. The reason is universal welfare, democracy, and neutrality. These were agreed upon with intense consultation within civil society.
Instead of emphasizing peace externally, Norwegian citizens support respecting the internal value of peace and pursuing foreign policy under the spirit of peace, creating an atmosphere of peace that permeates all of society and is the basis of their domestic and foreign policy.
Korean peace can be understood in an opposite way To say peace in Korean society is forced by foreign powers is easily understood. We are accustomed to using the word peace because of the structural condition that exists in the nation, but because of the disparateness in the country, we can't say that peace has become the norm of everyday life or understood as the citizens of Norway.
Even the conservative camp, the mainstream of society, isn't united in the way we should go about on the domestic level in efforts for peace. Unless we have a consistent link between domestic and international peace policies on the Korean Peninsula, we can emphasize peace diplomacy and talk about the peace process but it will not be persuasive.
Norway was a small country that had no power or foreign policy in 1904 when it became independent from Sweden, but is now a model country for peace, leading the international peace discourse and policy. South Korea must first publicize its discourse within Korean society, based on the experience of democratization and the efforts to overcome the division of the country. The citizens need to work towards a consensus that will become the Korean model of peace presented to the world.
When Korean society is reborn as a peaceful country, it will be able to lead the road map of peace on the Korean Peninsula to the international community. Peace discourses and solutions given from outside are in danger of turning into enemies in the open society of Korea.