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Hosting of the 21st Conference of Experts in Inter-Korean Relations
Hosting of the 21st Conference of Experts in Inter-Korean Relations
Public Opinion Analysis Division , 2017-07-20
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Hosting of the 21st Conference of Experts in Inter-Korean Relations
Discussion on North Korea Policy under President Moon Jae-in and Role of NUAC, Proposal for Liberation Day Address
NUAC (Secretary General Hwang Insung) hosted the “21st Conference of Experts in Inter-Korean Relations” at STX Resort in Mungyeong on July 18.
This conference was hosted to provide a venue for in-depth discussion among inter-Korean relations experts from various fields; the theme “North Korea Policy under President Moon Jae-in and Role of NUAC” was discussed in 2 separate sessions by all participants.
  • Opening speech: General Secretary Hwang Insung

“It is my hope that the inter-Korean relations experts who gathered here can serve as a compass to the Korean Peninsula as it arrives at the port of ‘Peaceful Korean Peninsula’ despite the difficult situations at home and abroad with the nuclear weapon and missile testing in North Korea and issues surrounding THAAD. Please provide as much support and cooperation as possible for NUAC to serve its role of reflecting public opinion on policies regarding North Korea and unification and unifying public will and capacity for peace and unification,” General Secretary Hwang Insung said in his opening speech.
Session 1: Task of North Korea Policy
Themed “Task of North Korea Policy,” Session 1 was conducted by Koh Yu-hwan, director of the Institute of North Korea Studies at Dongguk University.
Kim Yong-hyun, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, gave the first presentation in session 1, explaining about the North Korea Policy and foreign policy under President Moon Jae-in. “The main point of the foreign affairs, security, and unification policies under President Moon Jae-in lies in a ‘Peaceful Korean Peninsula,’ and this process is aimed at ‘Communication with the people’ and ‘Securing the initiative in issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula.’ The government under President Moon Jae-in does not view the issues surrounding the nuclear weapons of North Korea and North and South relations separately but is approaching the problem from a perspective of virtuous cycle,” he said.
Jun Bong-geun, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, was the second speaker, talking about the “Search for peace establishment strategy and denuclearization for the government under President Moon Jae-in” and suggesting “Denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and Establishment of Peace and Coexistence System” as the feasible intermediate goal for eventual denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and peaceful community. “North and South can recognize the system of 2 nations and maintain this system of making 2 separate systems and ideologies coexist with denuclearization nearly complete as the Inter-Korean Basic Agreement is inherited and realized,” he explained.
He also suggested a strategic roadmap that subdivided the stages for the “establishment of a denuclearized peace system” into the preliminary stage for nuclear freeze in North Korea (preliminary negotiation), stage 1 of nuclear freeze in North Korea (establishing the foundation for system of denuclearization and peaceful coexistence), and stage 2 of complete denuclearization (complete system of denuclearization and peaceful coexistence).
“We cannot exempt North Korea from sanctions by the UN Security Council as a reward for the nuclear freeze, but we can restrict the areas where North Korea is hurting the most while utilizing a realistic inducement strategy that actually promotes the security and economic profit of North Korea at the same time,” Professor Jun stressed.
Session 2: Role of NUAC
Session 2 was conducted by Park Jong-chul, a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, on themes such as roles of private-public governance for North Korea Policy and NUAC and proposal for Liberation Day address.
Kim Jong-su, a unification committee member from the Democratic Party of Korea, was the first speaker for session 2. “The unification issue is no longer just an issue for any specific political group but an issue that is directly related to everyone’s safety and future, thereby requiring a ‘national pact.’ We must consider establishing a separate governance organization for moving forward with the ‘National Unification Contract,’ a project for the government under President Moon Jae-in,” he said.
He also cited the need to make progress in the form of social pact by giving power to the social pact organization and holding intensive discussions and coming to agreements. “We must also accept that our society’s experience with ‘social pact’ leaves a lot to be desired, and that the philosophy of the nation’s leader is the most important when it comes to the unification policy along with skeptical perspectives that may be greater than we have anticipated as we establish sustainable policies on North Korea and unification,” he added.
As for the “role of NUAC,” he stressed the need to have the proposed reports given to the president directly and face to face in order to strengthen the function of proposal through consultation and suggested “implementing the system of specialist within each standing committee” and “reinforcing the organization with support from overseas” as alternatives.
The second speaker, former United Korea Coop Chairman Bae Ki-chan, talked about the policies to be presented in commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of Korea’s Liberation Day. “We must suggest ‘peaceful unification according to the liberal democratic order’ as stated by the 4th amendment of our constitution along with the undeniable path toward peace and unification based on the past agreements between north and south starting with the Joint Statement of July 4,” he stressed.
“The 50 million people of Korea are the main agents of peace and unification despite the grim diplomatic and security circumstances such as the competition for dominance between US and China, deteriorating relationship between North and South, and conflict of public opinion, and we must include content stating that we should move toward peaceful unification as what our people want, with our people leading the way,” he added.
A heated discussion followed among the participants regarding the proposals for the Liberation Day address. The debaters suggested various methods for open dialogues between North and South such as talks between North and South through emissaries, high-level government officials, six-party talks, and preliminary peace agreement talks along with the formation of living community for public unification and specifying of the National Unification Contract.
Other various ideas related to the Liberation Day address -- such as promotion of joint ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the October 4 Declaration, suggestion for the meeting of women from North and South Korea for resolving Japan’s Comfort Women issues, and proposal for joint excavation project for Gungyedoseong City Wall in Cheorwon -- were discussed.
Over 30 inter-Korean specialists from various fields have participated in this conference, which drew to a close after 5 hours of heated discussion.
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