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Seoul conference marks liberation, division of Koreas

Young people speaking to Al Arabiya News said they were not hopeful about the possibility of reunification

Published: Updated:

The World Journalists Conference 2015, organized by the Journalists Association of Korea in Seoul, marked the 70th anniversary of both the national liberation and division of North and South Korea.

Attended by 100 journalists from 60 countries, the conference held last month played a promotional video entitled “opening a new era of hope,” in reference to the reunification of North and South Korea.

“Germany, a divided nation until 25 years ago, has not only achieved reunification, but is also now taking the lead in the European integration process,” Cho Tae-yul, deputy foreign minister of South Korea, told the conference.

“We’ll respond firmly to North Korea’s provocations, while proactively creating an environment in which North Korea has no other choice but to change, and faithfully execute small but meaningful trust-building measures.”

Kyung Won, chairperson of the South Korean foreign affairs and unification committee, told the conference: “We have to aim for the construction of a community pursuing common happiness, an economic community, a social community, and a security community.”

During a nationally-televised New Year press conference, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said he would “meet with anyone if necessary to open the path of peaceful unification.”

However, the deputy foreign minister said North Korea was “refusing to engage in dialogue,” adding that it “has yet to give up its nuclear ambitions, and has been continuing to heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula.”

Young people speaking to Al Arabiya News said they were not hopeful about the possibility of reunification.