Slovakia: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Korean Independence Movement
By Barbara Grabner, UPF Slovakia
On March 19, 2019, we organized an event highlighting the birth of the Korean Independence Movement in 1919 and the geopolitical aspects of the division on the Korean peninsula today. The famous journalist and expert on secret services Igor Cibula had accepted our invitation to share his insights he gained during a recent visit to North Korea.
As soon as UPF advertised the event “North Korea viewed by Igor Cibula” it drew notable attention. Naturally, the public conference hall in the city centre was packed; no chair was left empty. First, Miloš Prochazka PhD, a specialist on Korean history introduced the Samil Undong Movement on the background of the geopolitical situation at that time.
Afterwards, Igor Cibula showed photographs he made during his trip to North Korea last September. He visited sights in the capital Pyongyang, Keasong city, some factories, educational facilities, museums and the DMZ etc. The audience delighted in his humorous accounts about encounters and discussions with the youth, tour guides, teachers, functionaries and others. He presented his insights not merely from a visitor´s perspective but shared his expertise knowledge in geopolitics gained over the last decades. Mr. Cibula praised the Koreans for having much intelligence and many skills and being exemplary tidy and polite. Still, he viewed the prospects for a fast reunification of the peninsula as rather dim.
During the Question & Answer session the guest´s questions and commentaries were answered by both guest speakers alternatively. When leaving numerous guests praised UPF for this rewarding experience and wanted to know when the next lecture is scheduled.