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 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 leading partner in 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 and Forums on Korean Reunification
- 2022 Seoul, ROK (Hybrid)
- 2022 April U.S.-R.O.K. (Virtual)
- 2021 Mongolia (Virtual)
- 2021 Global Peace Convention (Virtual)
- 2021 February U.S-R.O.K. (Virtual)
- 2020 December (Virtual)
- 2020 U.S.-China-Korea (Virtual)
- 2020 September (Virtual)
- 2020 U.S.-R.O.K. (Virtual)
- 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
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)
Action for Korea United
Visit the website for more information on AKU.
Action for Korea United (AKU) is 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. The Global Peace Foundation Korea has been a leading member of Action for Korea United.
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.
Engaging the Korean Diaspora
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.
Visit the websites below for more information on AKU chapters:
Action for Korea United - UK (website coming soon!)
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
- 2015 -
Song Name: "One Dream One Korea"
Produced by renown composer HyungSuk Kim and Lyricist Kim Eana
Music video featured over 30 Kpop artists and groups including political leaders from different parties showing solidarity in hoping for a peaceful reunification of the Koreas. One featured singer was the current South Korean president, then parliamentarian.
The song was featured during the final farewell ceremony during the InterKorea Summit in 2018.
Official Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ss__PuQ3E
Song Name "하나의 꿈: 통일한반도의 염원"
Performed by 인순이
Performance Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfHPH1P6M7o
- 2017 -
2015 Korean composer, lyricists, and Kpop stars performed songs for One Korea. And in 2017, the world echoed that dream and produced a song Korean Dream performed by global singers including Korean diaspora artists.
Song Name: Korean Dream
Produced by Grammy Award winners Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Performed global artists from around the world: Peabo Bryson from America, Dami Im from Austrailia, Jong Dongha and VOISPER from South Korea and Edray, Zendee and Sabrina from the Philippines
Official Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-x6Bfs1Ero
- 2019 -
To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1919 March 1 Independence Movement, renown composer Hyung Suk Kim and Lyricist arranged the Kpop rendition of the song "Korean Dream". This was performed on March 1, 2019 at the Centennial Commemorative Event on the Republic of Korea National Assembly Mall by Kpop artists.
Official Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPAZWXagiNM
Performance Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhhbBa_45Q0
One K Concerts
2015 First OneK Concert
Concert held at Seoul World Cup stadium
Performers: EXO, BTS, EXID, KARA, Sistar, AOA, Yangpa, Na Yoon Kwon, VIXX, Girl's Day, Boys Republic, Wonder Girls, Red Velvet, GOT7, MFBTY, SonaMoo, Purfles, Monsta X, SPICA, Younha, Kim JoHan, Rose Inn, InSooni
2017 First International OneK Concert
One K Global Peace Concert in Manila, Philippines
Concert held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena
Performers: KPop Perfomers from Korea: PSY, CNBlue, SHINhee, B1A4, B.A.P., BTOB, AOA, and Final Song debuting the Korean Dream song was Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in person together on stage from the Philippines Sabrina, Edray and Zendee.
2019 March 1, 1919 Independence Movement 100th Anniversary Commemorative Event
Concert held at the Republic of Korea National Assembly Mall
Performers: ASTRO, SF9, DETTO, KARD, TRCNG, CLC, Ha Sung Woon, Oh My Girl, APRIL, (G)I-DLE, Kim Johan, Baek Z Young, Jung In, Ali, Cheetah, Ben, Seo Ji An, GB9, Juniel, Laboum, SonaMoo, Dreamcatcher, and a joint performance by 'Tree of Peace Choir" from South Korea and the Saitama Choir from Japan