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South Koreans in Jamaica cautiously optimistic of reunification with North

Published:Monday | May 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Moon Young Ki, former president and founder of the Korean Community in Jamaica.
Young Gyu Lee, charge d'affairs at the South Korean Embassy in Jamaica.

Koreans working in Jamaica have hailed the recent geopolitical developments between the North and South as a watershed moment that could result in the denuclearisation of the peninsula and, ultimately, reunification.

Words such as 'surprising', 'groundbreaking' and 'dramatic' have been used to describe happenings on the Korean peninsula since North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in met at the line that separates the divided nations last month.

The two leaders signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula, committing the two countries to a nuclear-free peninsula and talks to bring a formal end to the Korean War.




Lee Young Gyu, the South Korean chargÈ d'affaires to Jamaica, said it was the perfect way to begin the possible reunification process.

He told The Gleaner that he stayed up all night on April 27 to witness the historic meeting between Kim and Moon and that it left him "expressly optimistic" about the future of Korea.

"I have every confidence that this agreement definitely serves as an opportunity to lay stepping stones towards denuclearisation, the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and the advancement of inter-Korean relations in a balanced manner," said Young.

"I make it a rule to go to bed and get up early in the mornings. But I stayed up the whole night then, which makes me more pleasant rather than displeased today," he said. "That is because I watched TV showing the historic Inter-Korean Summit from beginning to end, wishing for its success and the achievement of the groundbreaking declaration that I waited anxiously for."

Young said that the summit came about because of the untiring effort by Moon and the South Korean government, with the complete support of the international community, including the United States and other neighbouring countries, to encourage North Korea to enter into dialogue in the midst of the escalating security crisis on the peninsula.

South Koreans in Jamaica currently number 100, according to information from the South Korean Embassy.

Meanwhile, former president and founder of Korean Community in Jamaica, Moon Young Ki, said: "The announce-ment made at the summit really took many Koreans living abroad by surprise, especially as it could mean an end to the Korean war. It's a huge improve-ment for both North and South Korea, and I think the summit was quite successful."