Five hundred key members of Action for Korea United rallied around the theme ‘Opening the Era of Reunification, Together’ on February 15, reported Korean media outlet NewsIs. Action for Korea United is a coalition of over 400 NGOs focused on Korean reunification.
According to NewsIs, participants committed to supporting President Park Geun Hye efforts for peaceful reunification and promoting the “Everyday Unification Movement,” a grass-roots initiative that engages Koreans around the world in ongoing practical efforts for Korean reunification.
This comes in the midst of rising tensions between the two Koreas. The recent artillery exchange between the North and South is just latest incident between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. For over 60 years, the division of the Korean Peninsula has been split homes and families along an artificially drawn boundary at the 38th parallel.
The Global Peace Foundation, a key organizer of the Action for Korea United coalition, has taken a fresh approach to Korean reunification. In 2011, during the Global Peace Convention in Seoul, Korea, the Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon introduced a framework for dialogue and action that focused on grassroots efforts to invest into what he dubbed the “Korean Dream.”
The “Korean Dream” is a vision of a united Korea based on the ancient Korean philosophy of hongikingan. The philosophy precedes and transcends current ideological divisions and advances a shared ethic for the Korean people. This contrasts with traditional approaches that focus on high level diplomatic mediation principally addressing political and ideological differences. The “Everyday Unification Movement” initiatives and projects are informing citizens in Korea and abroad of the possibility of reunification and empowering them to contribute in their daily lives. The Power of 1000 Won collects funds for a bakery in Sariwon, North Korea that provides bread for school age children. A U-Dream peace project contest engages middle school, secondary and college age students to think of peace projects. Some efforts help assuage South Korean prejudice towards North Korean defectors while helping North Koreans adjust to South Korean life.
Action for Korea United is creating avenues for Koreans from all facets of society to be involved in the reunification process, thereby cultivating a connection between North and South that goes beyond political and military divisions. These opportunities are cultivating stakeholders of reunification and Northeast Asian peace.