How to find hope for unification from the wounds of division

Governor Kim’s Everlasting Concerns

Gyeonggi Province is a land of division. Gaeseong also used to be a part of Gyeonggi Province. DMZ(Korean Demarcation Zone) partly lies in Gyeonggi Province. Gyeonggi Province has the largest separated families. Every Lunar New Year’s day, displaced people, who have their hometown across Imjingang River but cannot go there, perform ritual ceremony ‘Manghyang Gyeongmoje’ at Mangbaedan of Imjingak. We need to open the chance for unification from the bitter wounds of division. At the center is DMZ. How can we make DMZ become a symbolic space of peace?

The Start is…

2.5 thousand North Korean residents are suffering from hunger and the oppression of three-generation power. Even infants are dying because they don’t have enough food, and hundreds of thousands of people are imprisoned in the prison camps. While the North compatriots are moaning in pain, South Koreans are disregarding their sufferings. Rather, the youth asks, ‘Is it necessary to unify the two Koreas?’

The singer group 2AM was appointed as honorary ambassador of ‘The 4thDMZDocumentaryFilmFestival’ held in last year. Gyeonggi Province promotes ‘DMZ for communication’ by holding Documentary Film Festival every year. 
When the two becomes one, the competitiveness of Korea is expected to significantly increase by combining the North’s workforce and natural resources with the South’s advanced technology and capital. Then, more jobs will be created in the course of reconstructing the North. As security risks disappear in the Korean peninsula, Korea’s global credit rating will rise, too. Unification is not a burden but a growth engine. At first, we need to create opportunities to raise public awareness over unification. That’s why we need to fully utilize DMZ. In the past, DMZ was seen to be dark and heavy, representing the war and the division. Now, the place needs to shed the image of the war and become a symbolic place to remind of peace and the history of the national division as yearly over 5 millions are visiting there. 

How to Find Hope for Unification from the Wounds of Division: DMZ 60th-year Ceremony in the space of peace, communication, life and reconciliatio

Foundation for unification, DMZ

In the fine spring day of May, on 25, bike-riding festival ‘Tour de DMZ’ was held in Yeoncheon to Paju region of Gyeonggi Province, with about 2 thousand bike lovers with the hope of unification. This bike parade for peace was named after ‘Tour de France’, which is the pride of France and is the first commemorative event for the 60th anniversary of Korean Armistice with the title ‘DMZ 60th year, Now is Life’.

Starting from the bike festival, Gyeonggi Province is ambitiously pushing ahead with projects for DMZ 60th year. Through the projects, the province is planning to re-create DMZ, which used to be the place of the bleak history of division, as a vibrant place for peace, life, communication, and reconciliation.

Representative events for DMZ 60th year are further meaningful because the event days are concentrated in the period of Armistice Agreement Day and National Liberation Day. First, At Dorasan Station, ‘International Symposium’ will be held on July 23. In the symposium having about 4 hundred participants including the public, public-friendly lectures will be held with the topic of ‘Peace’ and foreign guests will be invited to discuss over cooperative methods of reconciliation of the two Koreas.  

Also, Gyeonggi Province will draw interactive communications by attracting attentions from the youth on Internet broadcasting and SNS. For 5 days from July 24 to 28, it will hold ‘War Veterans Invitation Event’ for foreign and domestic war veterans. By inviting the foreign and domestic veterans of the Korean War and their families, the province aims to pay tributes to their sacrifices and contributions and have a place for concord. They will be also invited to ‘Sky & Ground Shaking Festival’, the peace-wishing large-scale performance of traditional culture held in Pyeonghwanuri on July 27. 

The festival will perform peace-wishing ritual ceremony for the war veterans, displaced people, and North Korean refugees. During the festival, themed <Peace>, 1,000 members of the Gyeonggi’s representative samulnori team, Kim Deok-su Samulnori Team, Serotonin Drum Club consisting of 1,000 troublemakers in school aiming to change them into exemplary students by cultivating their cultural personalities, and 500 university students joining the Long March through National Land will perform ‘Pyeonghwa Gilnori’. 

Another event for the 60th anniversary will be held on August 2 in Daeseongdong Village, the only town within DMZ in South Korea. The 60th ceremony of the town celebrating the 60th anniversary of the naming and wishing peace will include unique performance such as 60m-high Rice Cake Cutting Ceremony. On the following day, August 3, Peace-wishing Global Concert will add to the amusement in Pyeonghwanuri Concert Hall. The concert will let the world know that DMZ is the mecca of the world peace, and peace-oriented musicians from Korea, China, and the U.S. will wish for peace together in harmony. One day before National Liberation Day, on August 14, the opening event of Unification Village, the brand village created as DMZ brand village fostering project, will be held. In the event hall will be exhibited materials related to the history and living culture of Unification Village, and those related to DMZ security and ecology. Small music concert inviting the war veterans and the village elders will add to the meaning.  

“I visited DMZ tracking course as school activity a few days ago. Looking at barbed-wire fences, I felt the sorrow of the division. Also, while experiencing the ecology, I learned the pure vitality of the nature. I hope to ride a bike someday, and I also hope to meet children in Daeseongdong Village. I wish the barbed-wire fences will be removed and the South and the North will become one soon.” – Gang Min-jeong (13·Bucheon City)

-‘DMZ 60thyear,NowisLife’ : Commemorative event for the 60thanniversaryofKoreanArmistice
-July 23 : ‘International Symposium’ at Dorasan Station
-July 24 to 28 : ‘War Veterans Invitation Event’
-July 27 : Pyeonghwanuri ‘Sky & Ground Shaking Festival’
-August 2 : Daeseongdong Village Celebrating Event
-August 3 : Pyeonghwanuri ‘Peace-Wishing Global Concert’
-August 14 : Opening of brand village, Unification Village

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