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Observing An Unfolding of a Celebratory Moment in Peacebuilding

Monday, February 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brennan Frazier
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Observing An Unfolding of a Celebratory Moment in Peacebuilding
Thoughts and a Challenge From a Friend of Community Mediation

“When I watched the opening ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games- 2018 Winter Olympics, I was impressed by the wonderful use of technology to display the commitment of South Korea to humanity and environment. However, watching the delegation of the unified Korean delegation marching in the stadium under a flag of united Korea (a difficult and challenging achievement), brought tears to my eyes. I am aware of the fact that at least 50% of South Koreans had opposed the initiatives of the President of South Korea to have the participation of North and South Korean (two countries living under ceasefire far over 60 years) teams participating under one flag (We need to understand that South Korean President provided the leadership to achieve this amazing accomplishment within a very short time of a few months).

I saw the sister of Kim Jong Un, North Korean President participated in the opening ceremonies applauding united Korean team. Therefore, I totally agreed with the suggestion of the President of the International Olympic Committee that just like Rio Olympics, where refugees participated in the Olympics, the Olympics in South Korea show how sports can be used to bring the world together. Based on the following news reports, I want all of you to know that I have witnessed an unbelievable unfolding of peace that I need to celebrate and support.

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date", South Korean officials said on Saturday, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power last year on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North. The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, came despite acceleration in the North's weapons program last year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington.

The invitation came during talks and a lunch Moon hosted with Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul. Kim Jong Un wanted to meet Moon "at an early date", a spokesman for the Blue House said. Moon had said "let's create conditions to make it happen", the official said; an indication that Moon was likely to accept the invitation.

Although it is possible that these initiatives of both the North and South Korean leaders may not lead to peace, I strongly believe that everyone needs to not only to encourage but also to support these initiatives. Therefore, I am both puzzled by and disappointed by the silence of the leaders of all nations. As such, I agree with the comments of Katie Couric, at the closing of the opening ceremony, when she said this is very hopeful for peace but she questioned whether anything will take place to transfer the message of peace into reality.”

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