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International Forum on One Korea Explores Prospects for Reunification amid Global Pandemic

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon today called upon the U.S. to make "principled unification" its key foreign policy goal for the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia and for giving the "torch to the Korean people" to lead fulfillment of the destiny of a free and unified Peninsula.

"From a strategic perspective, the U.S. should recognize the need for principled unification as the long-term permanent solution to denuclearization and regional peace. A Korean-led process for unification should be backed by commitment to support the process both economically and geopolitically" as was done with the Marshall plan after WW II.

He was speaking at the International Forum on One Korea, a global online conference held along with gatherings of civic leaders across Korea to mark the 75th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II. Dr. Moon is the founder and chair of the Global Peace Foundation, a co-sponsor of the conference.

Dr. Edwin Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation in the U.S., said Korea today stands at an important transition point. "More than ever scholars and policy experts, faced with the failure of past efforts, see Korean unification as the necessary way forward," he said.

Crediting Dr. Moon's National Bestseller Korean Dream, which stresses the shared values and culture of the Korean people, Dr. Feulner said it was time to move the pursuit of unification outside of the sphere of government to engage the support of the Korean people as a whole.

In Korean Dream Dr. Moon calls for a revival of Korea's original founding principles as an ethic that can bridge the gap between conservatives and progressives in South Korea and ultimately between the North and South.

Emerging from division as a new nation, a unified Korea "must be rooted in a firm foundation of universal spiritual principles and moral values," Dr. Moon said. "These form the essential bedrock for true liberty. Hongik Ingan—living for the greater benefit of all humanity—is the founding aspiration of the Korean people."

The forum brought together leading Korea experts, policymakers, and civil society leaders to examine new opportunities for advancing Korean unification on the theme: "Realignment amid Global Changes: New Opportunities for a Free and Unified Korea," on August 15, 2020.

Amb. Ahn Ho-young, former ROK Ambassador to the U.S. and currently president of the University of North Korean Studies, said the first step toward unification is to build national consensus based on values of freedom, democracy and human rights, and the right to choose and practice one's religion.

He noted that German unification depended on the close partnership between President Bush and Chancellor Kohl together with a common understanding of all the important nations involved.

Panelists from the United States expressed grave concerns about North Korea's nuclear capability and closed society, while noting the significant role that civil society can play in bridging the division between the two Koreas.

"While the current crisis presents enormous risks, it also presents opportunities; opportunities to eliminate once and for all weapons of mass destruction from the Korean peninsula; an opportunity to allow China to play a constructive role as an emerging great power; to welcome the people of North Korea to the world of responsible nations, in the longer term, it may allow reunification of the Korean people under a government that is supportive of freedoms found only in democracies," said Dr. William Parker, past president of the EastWest Institute.

The forum was sponsored by the Global Peace Foundation, Action for Korea United and Alliance for Korea United USA and is the first of a series of forums scheduled for the fall of 2020.