CIRSS Participates in Korean Unification Experts Program

Participants of KUJIE 2015 pose with IUE faculty at the Institute’s grounds.

Ms. Rhodora M. Joaquin, Assistant Division Head of the Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS) of the Foreign Service Institute, participated in the 2015 Korean Unification for Junior International Experts (KUJIE) Program held on 1-10 July 2015 in Seoul, South Korea.

The program, which is on its third year, was organized by the Institute for Unification Education (IUE) under the Ministry of Unification of Korea. This year, there were 18 participants from China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom, US, and Vietnam, who were selected from various sectors that include the academe, think tanks, government, and media.

The KUJIE program was composed of lectures on Korea’s unification policies and vision for a unified Korea, understanding North Korea, neighboring countries’ policies toward the Korean Peninsula, inter-Korean economic cooperation, and the experiences of German unification. There were also field trips to several sites, both cultural and those related to the government’s unification programs.

One of the highlights of the program was the 2nd International Academic Conference on Korean Unification held on July 8 at Kyungnam University. The conference, jointly organized by IUE and Korea Foundation, focused on two topics:  “Unification Diplomacy and International Cooperation” and “International Cooperation for the Korean Unification.”

Ms. Joaquin was discussant for the first topic, where she emphasized the importance of track 2 and 3 diplomacy, including a possible role for ASEAN through ARF and CSCAP processes to facilitate inter-Korean exchanges.

The program also gave the participants the opportunity to visit several historical and cultural sites, facilities for North Korean defectors or refugees, and other sites related to the South Korean government’s efforts toward unification.

The International Academic Conference on Korean Unification co-organized by IUE and Korea Foundation was one of the highlights of the program.
The participants were also brought to the Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom at the border between North and South Korea.