Korean Led: Action for Korea United

The work of building a free, independent, democratic and prosperous Korea rests in the hands of the Korean people. GPF supports a Korean-led approach that builds popular consensus and engagement for Korean reunification.

The approach draws inspiration from Korea’s 1919 Independence movement. The 1919 Samil movement looked to the ancient Korean ethos of Hongik Ingan, or “living for the greater benefit of humanity,” as a guiding philosophy. This peaceful, people-led movement appealed to Wilsonian ideals of freedom and self-determination to secure international support, profoundly influencing twentieth-century popular movements including India’s movement for independence from British colonial rule, the U.S. civil rights movement, and South Africa’s peaceful anti-apartheid movement.

“We claim independence in the interest of the eternal and free development of our people and in accordance with the great movement for world reform based upon the awakening conscience of mankind.” —Korean Declaration of Independence (1919)

While Koreans will need the support of the international community to achieve unification, the process must be Korean-led, as it is the Korean people themselves who must determine what type of nation that will be. “Korean-led” involves the efforts of the two Korean governments but, more importantly, the active engagement, participation, and leadership of the Korean people. The Korean people – in the South, North and diaspora – that are the most important stakeholders and should be the driving force in the movement for unification.

Global Peace Foundation Korea is a founding member of Action for Korea United (AKU), a grassroots coalition of more than 1,000 NGOs committed to advancing a vision for a peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.

Unification is increasingly being examined, not as a distant dream for future generations, but as a realistic and a strategic approach to promoting regional stability, economic growth, and denuclearization of the peninsula. The brief 73-year span of political division cannot overshadow the five millennia of shared history, heritage and aspirations for unity and peace shared by all Koreans.

Action for Korea United

Visit the website for more information on AKU.

Action for Korea United (AKU) is the largest coalition for reunification in Korea. Action for Korea United has nearly 1000 NGOs committed to advancing a vision for a peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. The Global Peace Foundation Korea has been a leading member of Action for Korea United.

AKU has organized wide-ranging projects to build consensus for reunification. These include:

  • economic capacity building programs to connect North Korean defectors with South Korean entrepreneurs;
  • cultural campaigns including the New Unification Song Campaign, One K Global Concert Tour with support of major K-pop artists; and
  • unification education lectures and programs on university campuses throughout South Korea.

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