▲ Experts discussing on North Korea’s nuclear crisis. Photographed by Cho Hae Min.
On September 29, an academic conference on the topic of “A New South Korean Administration and Korea-Japan Relations—Issues and Prospects,” was held at the Centennial Memorial SAMSUNG Hall of the Korea University (KU). Experts from various institutions, including Nagamine Yasumasa, Japan’s Ambassador to Seoul, participated in the conference hosted by the KU Peace and Democracy Institute. The event was divided into two sessions, each including a debate. The first session dealt with the current issues of comfort women and North Korea nuclear crisis. The second session proceeded under the topic of improving Korea-Japan relations.
Professor Park Hong Gyu (Political Science and International Relations), the chief of the KU Peace and Democracy Institute, addressed, “In order to improve the diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan, we need more than the governmental support. Each individual should be able to share their thoughts on Korea-Japan relations, and this conference would be a stepping stone.”
Heated debate continued between the experts. Kumagai Nahiko, a professor from the International University of Japan, claimed that victims should overcome their anger and forgive the assailants. However, Yoon Myeong Sook, a PhD in sociology from the Hitotsubashi University, made a rebuttal that assailants’ self-reflection and sincere apology should precede before the forgiveness.
On the North Korea’s nuclear issue, Tokuchi Hideshi, a senior fellow of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, viewed that the North Koreanissue should be dealt weightily and cautiously, though it may be difficult to solve in a short time. He emphasized that North Korea’s nuclear issue is not only an issue of Northeast Asia, but also a global concern. Song Hwa Sub, a senior researcher of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA) fully agreed to the speaker.