How Korea Became Divided

In recent years, the prospect of reunification has taken on new interest and urgency, with recent polls showing more than 80 percent of South Koreans having a favorable view of reunification. A landmark speech by South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the so-called Dresden Declaration {link to: internal page Dresden Declaration}, offered specific proposals to prepare for Korean reunification in areas of humanitarianism, economic co-prosperity, and integration between the people of the two Koreas.

The Ministry of Unification, an executive department of the South Korean government, has priorities of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, building military trust between South and North Korea and reducing tension on the peninsula, promoting economic cooperation that will benefit both Koreas, and resolving humanitarian issues between the two Koreas and raising the quality of life for all Koreans.

A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been active in North Korea since the mid-1990s, providing humanitarian relief, development assistance, health services, informal diplomacy, and other technical and specialized support. In recent years North Korean defectors working largely with South Korean-based organizations, have provided invaluable insight into the special needs of North Koreans.

Action for Korea United, a coalition of over 800 South Korean civil society organizations committed to advancing a vision for a peaceful reunification on the Korean Peninsula, is broadening popular support for reunification through academic forums and conferences, public rallies, and grassroots education projects to inform and engage the Korean people.