NATIONAL

[Diplomatic circuit] German ambassador to Korea hopes for unity on Korean Peninsula

By Kim Bo-gyung

Ambassador Auer says dialogue was key to German unification

  • Published : Oct 14, 2019 - 15:17
  • Updated : Oct 14, 2019 - 15:20

German Ambassador to South Korea Stephen Auer said last week he hopes for the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas in the near future, as Germany celebrated the 29th anniversary of its reunification and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“Today is an emotional day not only for the German people but also for Koreans. The day of German unity and the fall of the Wall are special occasions because of our shared history of the separation of our nations,” Auer said at the anniversary event.

“The 3rd of October is not only the German, but also the Korean national day. While it stands for German unity for us, we wish our Korean friends nothing more than that they, too, can overcome the division and in the not too distant future celebrate reunification in peace and freedom,” he added.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, Rolf Mutzenich, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the Bundestag, Germany Trade and Invest CEO Boris Hermann and top foreign envoys in Seoul attended the event at the Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel in Seoul on Friday.

“Germany was undergoing a major upheaval 30 years ago today. There were two German states separated by a wall. The so-called ‘Monday demonstrations,’ which brought the East German regime to its knees in a ‘peaceful revolution’ in the fall of 1989, were already in full swing,” he said.

The anniversary of German reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall have garnered renewed attention here under the Moon Jae-in administration, which has set a goal to reunify the two Koreas by 2045.

German Ambassador to S.Korea Stephen Auer (third left) and South Korea's Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul (second left) pose in a photo session during an event to celebrate the 29th anniversary of Germany's reunification in central Seoul on Oct. 11. (Embassy of Germany in S. Korea)

Suggesting dialogue as the key factor that facilitated reunification of Germany, Auer said “the creation of channels for dialogue and the concrete facilitation of exchange and inner-German cross-border contacts laid the foundation for the reunification that followed.”

Meanwhile, Unification Minister Kim congratulated Germany on the anniversary of its reunification, saying he hoped “Germany and South Korea jointly strive forward as reliable partners toward the universal value of peace.”

Kim added Germany’s reunification was made possible due to the trust built by continual exchanges across different sectors. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)