Dresden Initiative for peaceful unification on the Korean peninsula

Outline of Dresden Initiative

President Park Geun-hye announced the “Initiative for Peaceful Unification on the Korean Peninsula” on March 28th, 2014 in Dresden, a city symbolizing Germany’s reunification.

“Now more than ever, South and North Korea must broaden their exchange and cooperation. What we need is not one-off or promotional events, but the kind of interaction and cooperation that enables ordinary South Koreans and North Koreans to recover a sense of common identity as they help each other out.”

President Park’s speech at Dresden University of Technology, March 28th, 2014

The Dresden Initiative is the Park Geun-hye administration’s refined policy towards North Korea and unification. The initiative is part of efforts to effectively carry out the Trust-building on the Korean Peninsula Policy and lays out the basic foundation for unification. The Initiative is an extension of President Park’s reference to unification as a “bonanza” during the New Year’s press conference on January 6th, 2014 and the inauguration of the Unification Preparation Committee which was declared on February 25th. It is also part of the policy direction for laying out the groundwork for peaceful unification which is the one of the Park Administration’s four policy keynotes.

Dresden Initiative’s Significance

Solidification of the Trust-building Process on the Korean Peninsula Policy
Promoting the Trust-building Process Policy through mutually beneficial cooperation between the two Koreans including setting up infrastructure for public livelihood.
Unification Preparation
An approach to unification that encompasses developing inter-Korean ties as an extension of President Park’s “unification bonanza” theory, creating new opportunities for change in North Korea and South Korea’s economic development and mutual prosperity for Northeast Asia
Sustainable Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation
Integration of the people of South and North Korea through sustainable exchange and cooperation.
Unification Preparation with the International Community
Unification of the Korean Peninsula that is in harmony with neighboring countries, and is welcomed by and contributes to the international community.
Unification as Vision for National Development
Declaring that Korea will become a strong nation, making historic progress through unification like Germany.

Dresden Initiative’s Three Proposals

President Park proposed humanitarian assistance, establishment of infrastructure and advancing an agenda for integration between the people of South and North Korea during her speech in Dresden.

Humanitarian Assistance for North Koreans
Regularization of reunions of families separated across the border.
Widening humanitarian aid for North Koreans through support for mothers and infants.
Integration of South and North Koreans
Expanding opportunities for South and North Koreans to meet.
Expanding exchange in preservation and research of history, culture and arts, sports etc.
Support North Korea’s economic development, finance related training and education.
Joint development of educational programs for the future generation
Establishing Infrastructure for Mutual Prosperity
Contribute to not only South and North Koreans but joint prosperity of Northeast Asia.
Complement and support establishment of infrastructure through social overhead capital etc.
Build Farming Complexes in North Korea
Invest in building infrastructure and developing underground resources in North Korea

Policy Directions

The Dresden Initiative encompasses four directions for unification policy. It seeks to be a policy that is attainable and sustainable while bringing together the participation of South and North Koreans and the international community.

Attainable Unification Policy
Taking into account North Korea’s receptivity, we will create trust through smaller projects that are attainable and build upon that trust.
We will begin with humanitarian assistance and infrastructure projects and gradually expand to full-scale implementation.
Sustainable Unification Policy
The policy will be carried out based on understanding and agreement from the general public.
We will promote creating a sustainable system that helps North Korean citizens regain their livelihood and creates solutions for South Korea’s economy.
Unification Policy with International Participation
We will share our unification vision with the international community and work together to change North Korea and achieve unification
We will strive for joint prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia through establishing infrastructure for public livelihood
Unification Policy with Participation from South and North Koreans
We will strive for a peaceful unification that is achieved through mutual agreement between South and North Korea based on communication and understanding
The Dresden Initiative’s proposals including providing humanitarian assistance, building infrastructure for public livelihood and recovering integration among South and North Koreans are part of laying out the framework for unification.
Source : Korea Institute for National Unification