“I watched the unification of Germany on location when I was working after Ph.D. in Bremen. At that time, I felt the enormous power of human towards freedom. After coming back to Korea, I found the KINY(Korea Institute for National Unification) has been established and I decided to devote my life to the unification of Korea peninsular being the founding member of KINU.”
His coincidence with the unification of Korea has been continued as a chairman of Korea Logistics Forum, even though his term as a research at KINY has been completed 13 years ago.
“Sadly, the relationship between South and North has become even worse, nowadays, compared to days of my first career in this field. In Germany, the city of Berlin contributed a lot. Since it was located in the middle of East Germany, comings and goings of people and materials were natural. The Gaeseong Industrial Complex which could be like that of Berlin, unfortunately has turned the scapegoat of Korean security ideology and closed in the end. What a pity!”
We understood the closing the Gaeseong Industrial Complex is to keep against the nuclear weapon and missile provocation and, at the same time, for the safety of Koreans and companies in the area. Anything wrong?
“Yeah, Right. However unlike the expectation of South, the movement of the North hasn’t been changed at all. Wouldn’t the exchanges and cooperation between the South and North contribute by far more to the safety of Korea? Many people may assume that the cooperation with North Korea will only feed them and eventually make the economy of South become even worse. However it is too much biased perspective. The exchanges and cooperation does work a lot for the economic development of Korea. We get to have more products to be produced and we need more jobs accordingly. There are many type and amount of rare minerals in North. If make products and sell them on the global market, the profit is beyond imagination. Another opinion that the support from South will only make the North which they call as ‘global gangster government’ to be armed with weapons of mass destruction is also wrong. There is no obvious evidence that every type of supports goes to the weapons. If so, it is natural we don’t expect any type of exchange and cooperation.” His opinion continued without a single second of pause.
“If the collapse of North is the only solution, what would be the result? Once collapsed, Korean Government has to immediately involve into the process of unification. By doing so, North Koreans are to be belonged to the laws and regulations of Korea, which means they are to belong to the group beneficiary of national basic livelihood. If so, South has to bare the enormous amount of money to support 25,000,000 people in North. Furthermore, we need to think about the perspective toward North Koreans by South. Even at this moment in South Korea, the toughest moment for the current North Korea defectors living in South is to feel disregarded by South Koreans. If this happened by the 2 big groups of Koreans, it will take much longer time and effort to make the humiliated pride of North and the perverse superiority complex of South into one. The story of North’s collapse has been told for the last 30 years. Even though the support from South has been stopped, North hasn’t been collapsed. Their economic conditions became even better. By doing so, the North well have DONE their weapon development as they planned.”
Some people say that before the unification of South and North, we need have unification of pros and cons among South Koreans regarding the unification. So I asked how different the opinion regarding the unification among West and East German.
“The West didn’t really have wish or expectation regarding the unification. But they often had various type of exchanges and cooperation. Any West German was able to travel in the East Germany. I would also visit East Germany. Annual Religious Meeting, Exchanges between Cities and Teenagers would be held every year. Both knew Birkenstock was made in East and loved very much. By exchanges and cooperation East Germans knew that ‘West is rich’. As the collapse of barrier in Berlin had been collapsed, they asserted the unification of German for their better life.”
They called for the unification after the barrier had been collapsed, which reminds me the art of Zen, Form is from Mind. What would be the “Mind” of the East to make the barriers being collapsed?
“The East had known the West very much. When Mikhail S. Gorbachev brought ‘Perestroika’, East knew that what they want is the freedom of Travel. At the time, unlike traveling in East Europe, traveling in West Europe was limited. So they asked for the freedom of Movement like that of West Germans. The desire for it made a large civil movement and eventually East Germen government had no choice but to allow. The East Germans’ freedom of Movement was announce on 9th of Nov. 1989, at press conference, by the mistake of Gunter Schabowski who is the represent of East German governors. As he got a question by an Italian reporter that from when the new regulation is to be acted, he spontaneously said “From now.” East Germans who watched and listened the interview from broadcast immediately assembled and just pushed the wall.”
Listening the unexpected historical event of Germany, I get to wonder how much North Koreans are opened to the Korean Dramas or Movies and know about South Korea.
“They know a lot about South, nowadays. However what we need is such a ‘historical moment’ in North, as happened in Germany. By the way, what I insist is that, they need to know more about South and be still richer before we have such a moment. If they get rich, it is easily foreseeable that they strongly want democracy and freedom. I insist that they need to solve the food problem and reorganize the cooperative farm “by their hands.” By doing so, they get to want the life and system of South.”
“One fortunate change in North is that they get to have markets and 80% of the people in North are involved. Income from markets is taking 75% of their total income. ‘Money Owners’ who made great amount of money at market are holding like that of the long distance express bus lines. ‘Market Generation’ who were born after 1990 and is the 20s and 30s in North are arising as they are leading the changes of the North. They had suffered serious growth disorder against drought and coldness since they were born after the national distribution chain has been collapsed. They don’t listen to government. Many of them have ‘the Korean Dream’”
The plan suggested by Dr.Kim was continued.
“It is important to make not the unification but the status of unification, which is called ‘de facto unification’. Current policy against North should return to the policy of de facto unification. Travelling all around the North by oneself or by small groups should be allowed no matter who you are, no matter when it is. If family meeting and business meetings are unrestricted, how it would be? If people and materials transaction is allowed, the unification is at hand even though political and regulation unification is not yet made. This policy should be maintained for decades regardless of regime changes. Then the North is to be Southernized. To be so, this economic cooperation and transaction should be free from political and military issue. Political and military issues like nuclear weapon should be solved by international conference and global economic cooperation. Like that of the Willy Brandt’s Policy toward East German, we need to accept the North Korea as an independent nation and let them change their government by themselves.”
“If products are produces in Gaesung Industrial Complex with the raw materials in North and if the roads and rail road are connected between China and South Koreas via Pyeongyang and Gaesung, North Korea has no way but to be moved from Dictatorship to Democracy. If the direct connections by roads and rail road are allowed and become common, it is natural for North Koreans to wish Democracy.”
We knew how to. However, why not applied so far?
“Politicians are taking the Unification and North Korea issue for their vote. It shouldn’t be repeated. Transactions and cooperation should be continued regardless of regime changes. The catch phrase of Korea Logistcs Forum is “Oneness by Logistics” If roads and rail road are connected and extended into Far East Russia, Sakhain, Moglia, Europe, the scale of mind of our future generation is to be different. We can be free from the bounded mind as an islander. Once the SOC(Social Overhead Capital) construction is started in North, we get to have many job opportunities. There are huge amount of mineral resources in North, which is needed by South. I hope to render a Korea where the human rights and the peace of South and North Korea is realized and many international businessmen are coming to North for their business opportunity and family for travel”
As his love and passion towards the next generation is shown, the atmosphere has been also highly elated, which shows his passion to continue his work against the closing of cooperation between the 2 Koreans and shrank of Kolofo.
He met BVL when he was staying in Germany so he was happy to meet BVL Korea in Korea! I asked him the expected role of BVL Korea.
“I hope Kolofo to hold Conference with BVL Korea in Gaeseong or Pyeongyang. Hope BVL Korea would follow the issues between North and South. Hope BVL Korea, as a leader for the cooperation with North Korea, would publish more about Korea Issues in national and international magazine and connect people consequently.
His words that he is to keep walking on this path until South and North become friendly each other were reminded by degrees.
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