Importance of peace in Korea and everywhere else – A presentation

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Pooneh Nedai
Editor-in-chief of Shokaran magazine
TEHRAN: Peace, or the lack of it, has a significant importance in my life and the situation in my country Iran, which has enabled me to understand well the situation in the Korean Peninsula after it was divided into South Korea and North Korea 70 years ago.

This is the text of my speech at the World Journalists Conference (WJC) 2020 held exceptionally on line this year:

“Let me say hello to all dear participants from all over world. We had the chance to meet in Korea with the help of the Journalists Association of Korea (JAK) for several years before this pandemic situation.

Thankfully, JAK did not give up and succeeded in bringing us together through an online forum this year.

I have a perfect reason to choose the topic of peace in the Korean Peninsula and 70th anniversary of the Korean War, since I am from a country that was involved in an eight-year old war with Iraq and now has a shaky situation to remain in peace.

Iran is under heavy sanctions from US while the pandemic situation has affected our country like many other countries. We are facing economic pressure, struggling to stay alive under the stress of US and Covid-19.

Iran and Korea have a long historicl relationship within 1,500 years through the Silk Road. There are pieces of Persian glass in the National Museum of Korea and Kushnameh is a 1,500-year-old historic love story between a Persian prince and a Korean princess. Iran and Korea’s diplomatic relations go back to 60 years.

The latest economic relation was the huge market of Korean goods in Iran and oil trading. Actually, Iranian people mostly believe that Korean products are reliable and have high quality. Korea had to end oil trading with Iran for the sake of US sanction. Last year, LG and Samsung had to stop their household appliances activity in Iranian market.

At the same time, as Chosun Ilbo wrote: “South Korea had to block $6 billion of Iranian right due to oil import in two Korean banks.”

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It is sad that the two friendliest countries, Iran and Korea, must be patient and find solutions for continuing their relations, although I believe cultural exchange should not be stopped in any situation. Now you may imagine our country (Iran) has to stay strong and people have to survive in such a sanction period.

In such a situation, South Korea has its own tendency to stay in peace with North Korea.
Whenever I think of Korean union, I remember the famous photo that shows a little bird flying over the border between south and north. I can feel how Korean people dare to be like a bird to fly to either side of their sister land easily.

When the world saw the picture of the meeting between the leaders of North and South in 2018, some hopes were raised for the initiation of brotherhood for the sake of the Korean Peninsula and world peace. However, when North Korea blew up the joint liaison office with South Korea in Kaesong, it seemed that nothing has changed between the two brothers.

We as journalists are only political viewers. We are journalists to witness the people’s desires and hopes in such a stressful period of human life.

I personally believe that the two brothers with two different strategies will never give up protecting the Korean Peninsula because they know that the whole land is the heritage of their ancestors. I will not mention the US role in the Korean issue because I believe it may have different effects and results in each region.

Korea is a strong country that could survive the war and come back to power like a phoenix. There are many stories, films and theaters that show the pain of the Korean people during the war and at the same time their admirable resistance to keep Korea alive.”

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