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Former minister calls for preparations for reunification

Former minister calls for preparations for reunification

Updated May. 18, 2013 03:29

한국어

South Korea’s former unification minister will call for preparations for the reunification of the two Koreas as the “ultimate solution” to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

In a planned speech to a lecture to be hosted by the 21st Century Bundang Forum at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Ryu U-ik, former minister of unification, plans to say, "The reunification of the two Koreas is the key to resolving pending issues on the Korean Peninsula and a blue ocean for the future of the peninsula. The ultimate solution to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia is reunification."

In a summary of his speech distributed before his planned speech, Ryu said, “Considering the various situations and the trend of changes in and outside of South Korea and the Korean Peninsula, now is the time for us to prepare for reunification. Reunification would not come if we just wait for it while doing nothing or singing for it.”

He stressed, “If we do not step forward, the international community has no reason to have interest (in reunification). As time goes by, North Korea’s nuclear weapons will become a reality, and the divided situation (on the Korean Peninsula) will become permanent.”

Emphasizing the importance of fundamentals, he explained why it is necessary to prepare for reunification. “For now, it may seem urgent to smoothly manage the South-North relations, but we shouldn`t hang on to it only. The fundamental thing lies in that we push for reunification and prepare for it. In a big picture, (South Korea) can manage inter-Korean relations by preparing for reunification,” he said in the summary.

Expressing concern that South Korean youth are less and less aware of the need for reunification, he noted that such pessimism about reunification is in the same vein as the pessimism about Korea’s independence (from Japan’s colonial rule). In a survey conducted in late March by the Dong-A Ilbo, one out of three South Koreans in their 20s said reunification would “never come.”

To prepare for reunification, Ryu proposed tasks: enhancing the awareness of the need for reunification, raising funds for reunification, strengthening reunification diplomacy, embracing North Korean refugees and preparing for reunification systematically. Ryu said on the reunification perception, "It is not right to call for avoiding the discussions and preparations for reunification for fear of stimulating North Korea.” He also stressed, “For Japan, helping the Korean Peninsula’s reunification could be a way to settle its debts of history.”