A South Korean civic group dedicated to peace has called on leaders on both sides of the Korea divide to focus on reuniting the two countries at the summit in Pyongyang Tuesday.
Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) chairman Man Hee Lee explained that the unification of the two Koreas would contribute to world peace.
This is the third time that North Korean leader Kim Jongun and South’s Moon Jaein will be meeting, and ahead of the summit, HWPL brought together more than 1,500 political and religious leaders as well as peace activists in Incheon, South Korea, to discuss ways of achieving peace.
Participants at the conference on Monday discussed the role of international law, religion and media to solve conflicts and restore peace in different parts of the world. “Peace in the Korean Peninsula is also important for world peace,” Lee told the press ahead of the upcoming three-day summit.
“I believe the president of South Korea [Moon] and the leader of North Korea [Kim] know about this conference and I urge them to support us to achieve peace,” he said.
Lee, who is also a Korean War veteran, said he has dedicated his life since the war to champion for peace, not just peace between the two Koreas but also for harmony across the world.
“It’s embarrassing to see the country is still divided,” Lee said, adding that he was inspired to fight for Korean reunification after the Cold War ended and the wall between East and West Germany was brought down.
The Koreas have been separated after the Korean War due to two different ideologies. The 1950-1953 war claimed more than 150,000 lives.
While the subject of North Korea’s denuclearisation is expected to be part of the Kim and Moon summit, South Korea’s civil society is also hoping to see harmony among people living on both sides of the border.
The two leaders had met previously in April and May, with the aim of unifying and restoring longlasting peace in the peninsula.
“This is a positive way for us to persuade … and in the end I believe there will be unification,” Lee said.
Holding world peace summits since 2014, HWPL hopes to have its Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) accepted by the United Nations and adapted into international law to regulate conflicts.
Former President of Ukrain Viktor Yushchenko, left, and HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee on a stage for peace
At the conference yesterday, the DPCW got implicit backing from many former leaders of strife-ridden countries such as former presidents Viktor Yushchenko from Ukraine, Croatia’s Ivo Josipovic, Burundi’s Domitien Ndayizeya, Sierra Leone’s ex-vice president Samuel SamSumana and Nepal’s former PM Jhala Nath Khanal.
The delegation signed a resolution calling for the UN to adopt DPCW and turn it into a legal instrument for conflict settlement as well as use it to unify the Korean Peninsula.