Dr. Park Jae Kyu, President of Kyungnam University and former Minister of Unification who played a major role in the historic South-North Korea Summit in 2000, recently published his autobiography entitled, Illyeom, Pyeonghwa Tongil Gil.
English translators would have several options. One might want to put it: “Determination: A Road to Peaceful Unification.”
The book has details recollecting his traces that were marked by efforts to realize the peaceful unification of Korea for the past 45 years.
With deep interest, Dr. Park Jae Kyu began to study North Korean and unification affairs in 1960s and established the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in the University in September 1972. The Institute hosted a large number of international conferences in Korea and other countries under topics related with North Korean affairs and changes in situation on the Korean peninsula and Communist bloc before its collapse, and arranged on-site educational programs by visiting China, Soviet Union and other Communist countries before Korea established diplomatic relations with them. He also played pivotal role in establishing the department of North Korean studies, Graduate School for North Korean Studies in the University and University of North Korean Studies. During the period when the inter-Korean relations were not friendly, he visited North Korea to promote academic exchange with Kim Il Sung University and Kim Chaek University of Technology.
As the Minister of Unification, Dr. Park organized the historic South-North Summit in 2000 and held 4 minister-level meetings between South and North Korea. At a dinner held in June 2000 during the South-North Summit, he had a chance to discuss with Chairman Kim Jung-il, the ruler of North Korea, several subjects such as opening of Diamond Mountain for tourists from South Korea, reunion of separated families and connection of railroads between Seoul in South Korea and Sinuiju in North Korea.
|A new book entitled Determination: A Road to Peaceful Unification was recently published by President Park Jae Kyu of Kyungnam University.|
Even after resigning as the Minister of Unification, he consistently conducted a variety of activities to help South-North Korea relations develop for peaceful unification. In 2002, he visited Pyeongyang to attend the performance of KBS Symphony Orchestra, in 2004, he invited to opening event of the Graduate School for North Korean Studies in the University a North Korean delegation, and visited North Korea in 2005 to attend the ceremony of commemorating the fifth anniversary of June 15th South-North joint statement. As the president of the Northeast Asian University Presidents’ Association, he held an international symposium of the Association in Gaeseong, North Korea in May 2006, and he visited Pyeongyang in October 2006 to take part in the concert of Composer Yun I-sang where he met North Korean leaders. In recognition of his steady efforts for development of inter-Korean relations, he received in 2001 the Global Understanding Award from Fairleigh Dickinson University in the United States and the Special Prize for Conflict Prevention from La Fondation Chirac in France.
In addition, Dr. Park discussed matters related with peace and unification of Korea with world’s top leaders, including Russian presidents, Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin, Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, Japanese prime ministers, Nakasone Yasuhiro and Koizumi Junichiro, Thai Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
“Prospect for peace and unification of Korea looks dim due to rapid improvement of nuclear weapons and missiles in North Korea. As I have been thus far, I will do whatever I can on the road toward progress in inter-Korean relations and peaceful unification of Korea during my remaining years,” said Dr. Park Jae Kyu.
Max Kang firstname.lastname@example.org
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