12 December 2023
King's hosts forum focussed on international peace efforts
Efforts to bring peace and reunification to the Korean peninsula were in focus at a special forum which took place at King’s College London.
Organised in partnership with the South Korean Ministry of Unification, the Korea Future Dialogue brought together some of Europe’s leading scholars and experts on international relations, politics, and security.
The event was held on 1 December at King’s and was hosted by Professor Ramon Pacheco Pardo, head of the Department of European and International Studies.
Guests included John Everard, former UK Ambassador to North Korea; Nicola Leveringhaus, from the Department of War Studies at King’s; Tat Yan Kong, from SOAS, University of London; Darya Dolzikova, from the Royal United Services Institute; and Joseph Dempsey, from the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Efforts to engage with North Korea, de-escalate nuclear tensions, and build consensus towards achieving lasting peace were topics for discussion.
Oh Dae-seok, director general for unification planning at the Ministry of Unification, addressed the forum, saying: “Recently, despite repeated warnings from the international community, North Korea launched a reconnaissance satellite, violating Security Council sanctions and escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
“Under these circumstances, we need to create a strategic environment in which North Korea has no choice but to eventually return to denuclearisation negotiations, while firmly recognising that nuclear and missile threats and provocations will achieve nothing.
“I am convinced that if we strengthen our solidarity with countries that share common values and continue to apply sanctions and pressure on North Korea unwaveringly based on a strong international coordination system, North Korea will change.”
Prof Pacheco Pardo said: “This forum was an opportunity to address and find solutions to the many challenges to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula, from North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme to the human rights situation in the country.”
“We hope to continue to work together with the Ministry of Unification and the Korean government at large to support reconciliation and peace between the two Koreas.”