FNF-Ajou Peace Academy 2019

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The second FNF-Ajou Peace Academy about Inter-Korean Relations was held from 28 to 30 November and organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in collaboration with the Ajou Unification Institute.

Ajou University Students who took unification or North Korea related classes offered by the AIU participated in the academy. The academy had two parts: First, a special lecture by Dr. Henrik Bispinck, who has worked as a scientific associate at the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR.

Bispinck presented the German case of reunification and the challenges and consequences associated with it. A major aspect was to discuss public opinions about reunification and North Korea and how generational shifts exist in South Korea. Dichotomous views such as "pro-unification" or "anti-unification" are too simple to grasp the complex and diverse perspectives that now exist in South Korea. The students discussed their views vividly, and interesting debates about the challenges and opportunities of potential reunification erupted.

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Secondly, a guided tour to the islands of Ganghwa and Gyodong. Among the participants on this trip were German exchange students who are currently living in Seoul. The German and Korean students had the opportunity to get to know each other through the sharing of experiences on reunification and division. From the lookout platform of the Peace Observatory, we could see the North Korean border. In the Ganghwa War Museum, we were given an introduction to the bloody and military past of the island. As the next and last stop, we visited the Daeryong market, which was a journey into the past 1980s.

FNF Korea enjoyed the exchange with the students very much, and it was a great pleasure to hear so many arguments and considerations. The younger generation has a very well reflected approach that transcends traditional clear cut left-right divisions. We are looking forward to further engage in discussions in the future, hearing the views of the younger generations.