Written by Hyuncheon Kim
Translated by Seungyoun Woo
VANK, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Korea to the world via cyber space,visits the real world to give a lecture at Harvard last Thursday focused on Sexual Slaves and Dokdo.
Ki-tae Park, The leader of VANK, which stands for Voluntary Agency Network of Korea said, “The 21st Century Special Hague Envoy Project was initiated from the critical mindset that the problems about Dokdo and Korean sexual slaves to the Japanese army are not just about territorial or human rights issues between Korea and Japan, but, in a broader sense, are about an ‘unsolved history lesson’.”
“We are touring around colleges in the U.S. to let Korean study-abroad students know the seriousness and importance of Dokdo and the comfort women issue, and discuss how we can approach and solve this problem,” said Park. He also added that the group is “aiming to spread the Korea-Japan historical issue throughout the world.”
Park said during the lecture how the leadership of the new generation will significantly impact on solving the problem of Korea-Japan history. Other members talked about Dokdo and the comfort women issue and introduced Korean culture, including Korean food and Hangul.
Also, the group prepared a play about the comfort women issue, and many other references were provided, such as a clip about Korea-Japan history issues that VANK madeand some promotional materials about Korean history, historical figures, and food.
The President of the Harvard Korean Association, Han-kyu Kim, also attended the conference and said, “I was very impressed by how the group is trying to approach the Dokdo and comfort women problem as unsolved historical issues,not just as a territory and human rights problem. Also, although I liked how they ‘sentimentally’ introducedthe problem to students with a ‘story-telling’ style, I think it would’ve been more effective if they had approached the issue more objectively and made an appeal to the international society about the unsolved historical problems of Japan as the war criminal of World War II.”
The leader Park also said, “It’s important for Korean study-abroad students and other college students to be aware of these historical issues since they are the new generation who will lead in the international society to solve the problems that still remain unsettled. I wish that many students are impacted by the conference we hold and make continuous progress toward solving those problems.”
Recent VANK conferences were held, beginning with Stanford University on November 2 to Foothills College (Nov 5), Harvard University (Nov 8), Cornell University (Nov 9) and Georgetown University (Nov 12-13).
VANK also set up a website (www.maywespeak.com) in English to publicize the project and Twitter and Facebook for SNS promotion as well.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지