SEOUL – While the United Nations celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2015, Koreans will lament 70 years of national division. Considering all of the challenges and opportunities that the divided peninsula faces – and will continue to confront in the coming years – unification remains an important goal that we must continue to pursue.
Founded formally in 1948 under UN auspices, the then-fledgling Republic of Korea immediately became engulfed in Cold War power politics, which hampered its efforts to join the UN – a goal not achieved until 1991. Since then, however, the Republic has more than made up for its late arrival. It is playing an active role in the UN – the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the Human Rights Council – and it is participating in numerous initiatives related to peacekeeping, development cooperation, climate change, non-proliferation, and human rights.