By Keiko Sometani
One hundred years ago, the Korean people came together in solidarity on March 1, 1919 to peacefully protest colonial rule and declare their independence. Sadly, the March 1 Movement did not lead to an independent nation, and the inner spark of the movement, the dream to create a model nation of peace and harmony that could benefit humanity, was in danger of being extinguished as the Korean people suffered a loss of identity and autonomy over the ensuing decades.
Despite years of suffering under colonization and the subsequent division of the peninsula, the dream of a free and independent Korea lived on. Now, a century later, Action for Korea United (AKU) has reignited the spark of the March 1 Movement and established the One K (Korea) Global Campaign in March 2018.
The campaign aims to bring solidarity and inspiration to the Korean reunification movement through a vision of an enlightened, unified nation that spreads peace to the world, thus accomplishing the unfulfilled hopes and dreams of the March 1 Movement. On March 23, 2018 AKU launched the organizing committee in a series of eight major cities nationwide including Asan in Chungnam Province, and Daegu, Daejeon and Busan.
Co-Chair of the Central Organizing Committee, Inteck Seo, attended the launching ceremony, explaining the campaign plan and stressing the historical significance of the reunification movement as a 'civil rights movement.'
He explained that after colonial authorities subdued the peaceful uprising in 1919, the Korean independence leaders established a partially recognized provisional government in exile in China. He shared, “The provisional government was called the 'Republic of Korea,’ a nation of the people and not the 'Joseon' or the 'Korean Empire.' This was a clear indication that it would create a sovereign state that would guarantee ‘civil rights.’”
He urged many citizens to join the campaign and stated, “The reason why we should pursue the unification movement as a civil rights movement is because we need to be advocates for the rights of the North Korean people, and now is the time to pursue this earnestly.”
Hundreds of people from all walks of life, cultures, and arts organizations such as the Korea Art Association and the Korea Music Association attended the inaugural ceremony and pledged to be active participants in the One K Global Campaign.
The Global Peace Foundation, one of the core partners of the campaign, is hosting the highly anticipated Global Peace Convention which will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the March 1 Movement. Renowned producer and composer of the heartfelt song One Dream One Korea, Hyung-seok Kim, and American producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who debuted the Unification Song at the 2017 Global Peace Convention in the Philippines, and artists from Korea and around the world continue to support reunification efforts through a series of One K Concerts, the next of which will be held at the 2019 Convention in Seoul. The One K pop concert is one of many strategic efforts of the campaign to draw widespread support. Just as the music video of One Dream One Korea conveys, “If one person has a dream, it is just a dream, but if all people share that dream, it becomes a reality,” the One K Global Campaign is striving to galvanize the Korean people through share dream of a unified nation that upholds the freedoms and rights of all citizens.
Learn more about the 2019 Global Peace Convention and how you can support the One K Global Campaign.