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Thousands Rally for Korean Reunification and Independence Day Commemoration

Some 10,000 people gathered at Seoul’s Independence Memorial and the National Central Youth Training Center on June 18, 2022, to voice support for the upcoming 80th anniversary commemoration of the end of World War II on August 15, 1945, and to remind Koreans of the unfinished business of Korean reunification.

Called Gwangbok, or “return to light,” by the Korean people, August 15 is Korea’s national Independence Day, marking the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Gwangbok is one of the few holidays observed simultaneously in both North and South Korea.

Since 2019 Action for Korea United has organized public events on August 15 in preparation for nationwide celebrations in 2025 and to advance grassroots efforts for peaceful reunification.

Ceremony rallies Koreans around a vision for unification

For the Korean people, August 15 is a reminder of an unfulfilled dream for a free, unified, independent homeland all their own. Following liberation in 1945, the Korean peninsula suffered a tragic division, the catastrophic Korean War, and a generations-long Cold War that continues to divide the peninsula and the Korean people.  North and South Korea remain technically in a state of war following the armistice ending the armed conflict. 

Action for Korea United (AKU) is the largest coalition for reunification in Korea with nearly 1,000 NGOs committed to advancing a vision for a peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula. Recognizing global support for Korean unification is critical to advancing peace, prosperity, and respect for human rights in the region, Global Peace Foundation is a leading partner in AKU and the One Korea Global Campaign, cultivating global awareness and support for the Korean-led efforts for reunification.

The commemoration event was held in collaboration with the Korean Peninsula Unified Leaders' Union, the Korea Detective Association, Korea Seniors' Association, Korea Rehyang Contest, and Korea's Council of Arts. The event marked the launch of what is expected to be the largest private unification campaign in history, with more than one million citizens participating from 2022 to 2025.

Inteck Seo (right) addresses rally for Korean unification in Seoul

Mr. Inteck Seo, President of Global Peace Foundation Korea and the Co-Chair of Action for Korea United, presented a vision and roadmap for a reunified peninsula at the assembly. He highlighted several global campaigns that have been gaining momentum internationally to advance Korean unification, including the One K Global Peace Concerts, the One K Art Festival, Literary Award Contest, a One K Dance Festival, and the Unification Songs series. Mr. Seo said that further contests and art performances will be carried out in the next three years leading up to the 80th anniversary of Korea’s Independence Day.

Ceremony to launch Korean unification campaign from 2022 to 2025

As part of the One Korea Global 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.

Another International Forum on One Korea will be hosted on August 13, 2022, followed by a Korea United Festival on August 15, the 77th anniversary of Korea’s national liberation day.

Learn more about the One Korea Global Campaign.