The more than 70-year division of the Korean peninsula has undermined global security, separated a people with a shared heritage, and perpetuated a humanitarian crisis in the North.
The long-term solution to this crisis would be to end the division and creating an independent, self-governing nation, united on the founding ideals of the Korean people.
Diplomatic initiatives like the Six-Party Talks and the recent Inter-Korea, US-DPRK summits aimed at resolving security concerns surrounding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, have led to little progress in bridging the Cold War divide between the two Koreas.
Global Peace Foundation had been a leading partner in a global coalition advancing a comprehensive approach to resolving the division on the peninsula focused on a vision that draws upon the native Korean ethic of “hongik ingan,” to live to benefit humanity.
The work of building a free, independent, democratic and prosperous Korea rests in the hands of the Korean people.
GPF supports a Korean-led approach that builds popular consensus and engagement for Korean reunification. The approach draws inspiration from Korea’s 1919 Independence movement.
The 1919 Samil movement looked to the ancient Korean ethos of Hongik Ingan, or “living for the greater benefit of humanity,” as a guiding philosophy. This peaceful, people-led movement appealed to Wilsonian ideals of freedom and self-determination to secure international support, profoundly influencing twentieth-century popular movements including India’s movement for independence from British colonial rule, the U.S. civil rights movement, and South Africa’s peaceful anti-apartheid movement.
“We claim independence in the interest of the eternal and free development of our people and in accordance with the great movement for world reform based upon the awakening conscience of mankind.” —Korean Declaration of Independence (1919)
The Global Peace Foundation been a lead member Action for Korea United (AKU), the largest coalition for reunification in Korea. Action for Korea United has nearly 1000 NGOs committed to advancing a vision for a peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
AKU has organized wide-ranging projects to build consensus for reunification. These include:
- economic capacity building programs to connect North Korean defectors with South Korean entrepreneurs;
- cultural campaigns including the New Unification Song Campaign, One K Global Concert Tour with support of major K-pop artists; and
- unification education lectures and programs on university campuses throughout South Korea.
Alliance for Korea United represents Korean diaspora communities around the world committed to Korean reunification. There are over seven million ethnic Koreans living outside of Korea. Ethnic Koreans living abroad are a powerful force in the work of creating a united, free, and just Korea.
The volatile state of the Korean peninsula, the human rights crisis in the North, and the unfinished work of self-determination for the Korean people make Korean reunification a major civil rights issue of today.
Recognizing global support for Korean unification is critical to advancing peace, prosperity, and respect for human rights in the region, GPF is a part of the One Korea Global Campaign, cultivating global awareness and support for the Korean-led efforts for reunification.
As part of the campaign, GPF has co-convened international conferences on the division of Korea and prospects for unification, as well as supported diverse public education and humanitarian campaigns and civil society partnerships to bridge divisions and raise awareness of approaches and implications of a unified Korea.
GPF has also taken the lead on creating an International Advisory Council for Korean Reunification with experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to promote consensus around vision, principles, and values that can guide Korean reunification and other peace issues in Northeast Asia.
Following those groundbreaking efforts, historic shifts in public policy and popular awareness concerning peaceful unification have taken place.
List of International Conferences on Korean reunification
- 2020 International Forums on One Korea Virtual Series
- 2019 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- 2019 Global Peace Convention, Seoul, Korea
- 2018 Carnegie Institution, Washington DC
- 2018 Dublin, Ireland
- 2018 New Delhi, India
- 2018 Tokyo, Japan
- 2018 Ulanbatuur, Mongolia
- 2017 Seoul, ROK
- 2017 Washington DC
Riding the wave of Korea’s global influence on music, drama, and culture, the One Korea Global Campaign create a platform for music producers and artists, actors, and directors to raise their voices for Korean reunification.
The Unification song campaigns held since 2015 and the One K Concerts have created an entirely new genre of music supporting reunification.
Unification Song Campaigns
- 2019 Kim Hyun Sun Korean artist Korean Dream
- 2017 Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis Korean Dream
- 2015 Kim Hyun Suk One Dream One Korea
One K Concerts
2019 ROK National Assembly Mall (ASTRO)
2017 Sm Mall of Asia Arena (Psy, CN Blue, Shinhee)
2015 Seoul World Cup stadium (EXO, BTS)