PM Hun Sen Proposes a Peace Initiative for the Korean Peninsula

PM Hun Sen delivers his remark at the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) Global Assembly at the World Summit 2022 whose theme was “Peace in the Korean Peninsula. Photo from Facebook of PM Hun Sen

There will be no hope for the human race without peace in the region and the world, he said

PHNOM PENH--Prime Minister Hun Sen on Feb. 13 called for the consolidation of cultural exchange and people-to-people connectivity between the two Koreas as part of the effort to maintain peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Delivering the keynote address at the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) Global Assembly at the World Summit 2022 whose theme was “Peace in the Korean Peninsula,” Hun Sen began by recalling that the division of Korea into two countries and the current crisis is a legacy of the Cold War waged by major powers. And these powers have continued to make use the Korean Peninsula to serve their self-interest and compete for power, he said.

The prime minister went on to propose that both Koreas consider his initiative “Two States toward One Nation: One Peninsula, One People, One Culture” as way to build trust and confidence, which could ensure peace. “I believe that this initiative is practical and achievable as its purpose is to promote cultural exchanges and people-to-people ties between the two Koreas,” Hun Sen said.

As the name of the proposal points out, these “Two States” have completely different political and government systems, he said. “The integration of both systems in the near future is impossible. 

“Therefore, we must accept the truth that the two systems continue to co-exist,” Hun Sen said, adding that one needs to encourage and promote peaceful co-existence between the two systems. However, he said, while the two Koreas have been divided geographically, their population have remained Korean. “Koreans have only one single blood line,” he said, coming from a common origin.  

During his speech, the prime minister suggested transforming the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries into a safe and open cultural corridor connecting people of the two nations.  He also recommended that the two governments cooperate under the framework of UNESCO to create the necessary conditions for dialogue based on the respect of commonly shared values. They could also work together to advance Korean culture, connect the Korean civilization to other civilizations, and develop culture-based tourism and innovations, Hun Sen added.

Global peace remains fragile, Hun Sen warns

During the World Summit 2022, which was held in Seoul by the Universal Peace Federation and the Cambodian government, Hun Sen was presented on Feb. 12 with the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize.

In his acceptance speech, the prime minister talked of the challenges to maintaining peace at the present time. “Peace in our region and the world remains fragile and under stress due to compounding factors, including great powers’ rivalries, rising nationalism, terrorism as well as poverty and food insecurity due to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hun Sen said.

If not addressed, those threats could at best affect progress and at worst wipe out the human race, he said.  “Promoting peace is essential for our present time, but more importantly, as the Sunhak Peace Prize's slogan succinctly expresses, will ‘Make the World Better for Future Generations," the prime minister said.

Hun Sen recommended that countries throughout the world expand and diversify collaboration and partnership efforts to address threats to world peace while enhancing a peace ecosystem.

During the summit, the prime minister had mentioned that, based on his own experience of war and peacemaking efforts, there will be no hope, development, respect for human rights and democracy if there is no peace.

“That is why my government has made it a priority to send thousands of Cambodian troops to join the United Nations peacekeeping and mines clearance operations in Africa and the Middle East, hoping to help restore peace in those regions,” Hun Sen said. “Moreover, although our country is small, we assist the peace process in the region and the world with goodwill, responsibility, and honesty.”

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