Session VI

The Korean People’s Common History and Culture: Resources for Peace on the Korean Peninsula


Mrs. Chantal Chételat Komagata

Coordinator, UPF Europe

Prof. Thomas Hwang

Chairman, Chinese People's Federation for World Peace International

Prof. Yoshisumi Asai

Faculty of Global and Regional Studies, Doshisha University, Japan

Dr. Thomas Selover

President, SunHak UP Graduate University, Republic of Korea

Dr. Alon Levkowitz

Department of Asian Studies, Korean Studies, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Head of the civil and social studies department, Beit Berl College, Israel


Korean people share a long history. They survived repeated invasions by the Chinese, the Mongol and the Japanese empires. In 1919, the March 1st Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule was a founding milestone for modern Korea. Moreover, the Korean people share a deeply rooted mythology, the legend of King Dangun, who is supposed to have established the Korean nation nearly five millennia ago. Both history and mythology have played their part in shaping an enduring Korean identity. 

After WWII, however, the political division imposed on Korea eventually settled into a confrontation of radically opposed ideologies, which still contribute to maintaining the conflict between North and South. Can the Korean people’s common history and culture help forge a vision that transcends the ideological conflicts inherited from the Cold War and overcome the division on the Peninsula?