In the autumn of 2023, I received an invitation that would change my life forever. It was an opportunity to join a group of young professionals in the vibrant city of Seoul, South Korea, for the International Forum on One Korea, organized by the Global Peace Foundation (GPF). My group was made up of 40 passionate participants from 17 different countries across Asia, Africa, America, and Europe, all united by a shared vision of fostering peace and understanding in the world.
When GPF made a call for young peacebuilders and dedicated partners who believed genuine peace could become a reality, I was ready to sign up for the focus group. Our group participated in a workshop for young leaders to discuss the Korean Dream: South and North Korea reunification. For me, this was a topic that resonated deeply.
In my homeland country, Indonesia, I grew up learning the values of Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which celebrate unity in diversity. Indonesia, a diverse nation of various languages, races, and tribes, had shown the world that agreement could be achieved despite differences. I couldn’t help but draw parallels between my homeland and the divided Korean peninsula. I believe that, like Indonesia, Korea should be united once again.
During my time in Seoul, I had the privilege to attend the International Forum on One Korea on October 2, titled “Free and Unified Korea: A Catalyst for Regional and Global Peace and Development.” Renowned experts and scholars worldwide gathered to discuss the intricacies of Korean reunification. Their words resonated deeply within me, further fueling my passion for the cause.
As a commemoration of Korea’s National Foundation Day on October 3, I attended the 2023 Korean Dream Festa. Thousands of people from all walks of life came together to celebrate their shared dream of reunification. The spirit of unity and hope was palpable, and I found myself deeply inspired by Dr. Hyun jin Preston Moon, GPF Founder and Chairman. Dr. Moon’s passion for taking ownership of the reunification process left an indelible mark on my heart.
One of the most impactful experiences of the workshop came on October 4 when I and my fellow participants visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the border that separates South and North Korea. Standing there, gazing at the heavily fortified border, I couldn’t help but realize the significance of reunification. It was a moment etched into my memory, a reminder of the importance of peace and reconciliation.
On October 5, we visited the Korean War Museum, where I immersed myself in the history of Korea. I learned about the struggles, sacrifices, and the enduring hope for reunification. The stories of the Korean people’s resilience touched my heart.
As the workshop ended, I felt a deep sense of purpose. I had experienced first-hand the power of unity in diversity, and I understood that just as Indonesia had overcome differences to become a harmonious nation, so too could Korea be united once more.
Leaving Seoul, I returned to Indonesia with a newfound mission. I hope to share these experiences and knowledge to raise awareness about the importance of reunification in South and North Korea. As an Indonesian, I believed that the lessons of unity and diversity from my homeland could inspire and support the Korean Dream. And so, my journey continues, filling me with hope, determination, and a belief that genuine peace can become a reality on the Korean Peninsula and every corner of the world.