Korea was on the global centerstage in 2018. Starting with the 2018 Winter Olympics, the world watched as signs of reunification began to emerge out of what could have been a global nuclear stand-off between North Korea and the United States. Instead, there were many promising developments such as the joint North-South Korean athletic teams, North-South family reunions, the Inter-Korea Summit, and high-level meetings between leaders from North and South Korea and President Donald Trump of the United States.
The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula highlighted the shared history and familial ties of both Koreas and brought to an end the Korean War, urging for the denuclearization of the peninsula
The way forward is still being hotly debated among experts and policymakers. However, this is a notable step forward from the time only two options seemed to be available: direct military confrontation or the continuation of the increasingly erratic game of high-level diplomacy. Neither option can hope to fully resolve the issue of nuclear weapons or contribute to lasting global peace.
A Third Way to Denuclearization
In the midst of rising concerns and fear, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon has called the global community to see the situation as an opportunity, calling for a third way to deal with the nuclear crisis. This way is peaceful reunification. It is the best possible solution to deal with both the threat of nuclear war while opening new possibilities for growth and development across the entire Northeast Asian corridor.
Dr. Moon presents the vision of a new, reunified Korea, founded on enduring values of the spiritual heritage of the Korean people, namely the principles of Hongik Ingan, in his book Korean Dream, which made the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Director’s Professional Reading List for 2018. Hongik Ingan is the dream articulated at the founding of the Korean nation that envisions Korea as a model nation that honors the dignity and freedoms of its people while bringing “broad benefit” to all humanity.
The Korean Dream in 2018
The work of coalitions such as Action for Korea United, a Korea-based organization of over 1,000 civil society organizations, has made significant progress in 2018 to awaken the Korean people to the dream of a unified Korea.
1.One Dream One Korea, one of the unification songs featuring K-Pop stars like EXO and produced by AKU’s One Korea Global Campaign was featured at the Inter-Korea Summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in. World famous K-Pop stars are supporting a series of Unification Songs, with the latest release in August 2018.
3.Civil society efforts for Korean reunification are essential to building a bright future for all Koreans. Simple but effective grassroots projects are helping bring people together from both North and South Korea. The South Korean Entrepreneurs for the development of North Korean Defector Entrepreneurs is one such group that is providing opportunities for Koreans to work together. Such shared experiences are connecting Koreans from both sides of the 38th parallel, creating a groundswell for a future of shared prosperity as a reunited people. In addition to the political and social challenges, the economic collaboration will be one of the most urgent challenges for a newly reunified Korea. People-to-people connections and civil society engagement will be crucial in addressing such complex challenges.
The Korean Dream Model of National Transformation
As the Korean Dream moves from vision to reality, it is unfolding a process of national transformation to build a nation that benefits the world.
At the International Forum on One Korea in Washington DC on December 12, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon outlined an “out-of-the-box” approach to Korean reunification.[Reunification] starts with the goal of creating an ideal nation, separate from the legacy of the Cold War, and based upon Korea’s shared cultural history. It entails laying out clearly the principles upon which a unified Korea should be built
Hongik Ingan—living for the greater benefit of humanity—has always been a guiding principle at times of crisis. It was a motivating ideal for the Independence movement that sought to create a new republic out of the ashes of the Chosen dynasty and Korea’s annexation into the Japanese empire. It shaped the aspirations of the Independence leaders to want more than just freedom from Japanese colonial rule.
The Korean Dream in 2019
March 1, 2019, will mark 100 years since the most significant milestone of the Korean independence movement. On March 1st of 1919, Koreans demonstrated mass support for the Korean Declaration of Independence, proclaiming in peaceful rallies across the nation that they aspired to create a nation that was “united, independent, and free.” Although that dream remains unfulfilled, we seek to rekindle that aspiration in the hearts of all Koreans, in the North, South and around the world.
The third One K Concert will be a part of the March 1st Movement 100-year Commemoration in 2019, where more than 20 K-Pop stars are set to perform at a major concert event in Seoul. The event will look back on the significance of the March 1st Movement for Korean independence and envision a future of reunification and peace.
The One K Concert Campaign is just one of several groundbreaking projects supporting peaceful reunification on the peninsula, including a One K Korean Art Festival and a Korean Dream documentary film to be released in 2019.
Dr. Moon is at the fore, leading efforts in various civic, public and private, and intergovernmental arenas.