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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

2nd "world" congress in Pyongyang took place after all

Earlier I posted a note about the cancellation of the 2nd World Congress of Korean Studies to have been held in Pyongyang on August 3-5. The news of the cancellation, reported in a couple of South Korean newspapers, were apparently a bit hasty, as the congress took place after all, as told to me by email from Dr Andrei Lankov. He also forwarded me an email by Leonid Petrov, who has more info about the event on his North Korean Studies page. (The congress photograph is from Dr Petrov's page.) The Japanese and South Korean co-sponsors had actually informed about the cancellation of the congress to the participants, so only 24 non-Koreans travelled to Pyongyang.

The following is from KCNA:
Second World Congress of Korean Studies Closes
Pyongyang, August 6 (KCNA) -- The Second World Congress of Korean Studies closed in Pyongyang on Thursday. Prior to the closing ceremony panel discussions continued.
Introduced at the panel discussions were the academic successes and experience gained in researches into issues arising in studying time-honored history and culture of the Korean nation spanning five thousand years, adhering to and inheriting and developing the excellent ideological wealth and cultural tradition created by the Korean people.
The participants discussed a lot of academic issues arising in accurately grasping and studying the modern history of the Korean nation including the foundation of the Juche idea, the originality and justice of the great Songun politics, the benevolent politics based on the idea, the line of economic construction and the line of scientific, educational and cultural construction in the Songun era, tasks and ways to achieve national reconciliation, unity and reunification of the nation as required by the era after the publication of the June 15 joint declaration.
A closing meeting was held at the congress.
Thae Hyong Chol, president of the Academy of Social Sciences, in his speech at the closing meeting called upon all the participants to further intensify the study of Koreanology based on the successes and experience achieved at the congress and thus creditably fulfill their mission and duty as intellectuals in the era of reunification who guarantee national reconciliation, cooperation and reunification with knowledge and lead them with brush.
Then followed speeches by Sergey Kurbanov, director of the Center for Korean Language and Culture of Faculty of Oriental Studies of St-Petersburg State University of Russia, Paek Jong Min, chairwoman of the Korean American Women Artistes and Writers Association, and Kim Hwa Hyo, chairman of the Association of Korean Social Scientists in Japan.
A declaration adopted at the congress in the name of its participants noted that they would strive hard to make Korean studies contribute to the reconciliation and cooperation between the north and the south of Korea and to the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea under the banner of the June 15 joint declaration.
The declaration said that they would work hard to deepen the study of the Korean history and culture so that Korean studies may help heighten the dignity and pride of all Koreans.
Kim Jong Yong, vice-president of the Academy of Social Sciences, made a closing address at the congress.

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