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Japanese, N Korean students discuss peace in Pyongyang

8 Comments

Japanese and North Korean university students have been discussing peace during a six-day exchange event in Pyongyang held since Wednesday.

In the event, 10 students from Japan met with 16 students learning Japanese at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies, most of whom have never met with Japanese nationals before.

A representative of the Relief Campaign Committee for Children, the organizer of the event, said it hopes the interaction will serve as a step to improving ties between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations.

On the first day, the two sides, meeting in a classroom of the North Korean university, shared details about their lives as students and their dreams for the future. Pak Yun Son, a 17-year-old student at the university who is a fan of Japanese anime films, said he "wants to go to Japan and visit places featured in the movies."

On Thursday, they toured the North Korean capital and took part in other activities.

"Issues between Japan and North Korea can be resolved if the Japanese government pays compensation for the colonial period," including over the issue of Korean women forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels, said Kim Jong Chon, 23, also a student at the university.

Yukiya Kubo, a 25-year-old senior student at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, responded, "If Japan resolves the (issues of the) past and builds a friendship with North Korea, it will become a foothold for peace in all of East Asia."

"While there are clashes of views coming from different stances, students from both Japan and North Korea have been trying to become friends by overcoming barriers," said Yukiko Tsutsui, the secretary general of the nongovernmental organization.

"Repeated exchanges are the first step toward building peace," she added.

On Monday, the last day of the program, the two sides are expected to take part in another exchange event on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to the organizer.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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This is good stuff. Younger generations getting together and learning about each other... this is where peace begins. The stubborn old guys holding talks and not willing to budge on anything never goes and will never go anywhere. Truly learn about others and things might change.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just make sure you do a good head count when those 10 students are getting back on the plane...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is about as productive as going to the Vatican to discuss evolution.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is good thing for the NE Asia region and I hope it's genuine, things go downhill real fast if one party starts being condescending. If the Mods will permit, here's some Sam.

https://youtu.be/nuaLKa9ecds

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I wonder if the students from Japan are zainichi-Koreans.

Never says the students are Japanese (though zainichi-Koreans do take a Japanese name).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At least it's good news here, I'm pleasantly surprised that North Korean students are actually aware of and allowed (?) to even watch Japanese anime. And despite the harshness of that regime and the way it absolutely brainwashes its citizens, that some North Korean citizens actually have an enlightened and progressive towards Japan is pretty amazing.

I doubt a tiny fraction of North Koreans, who have more sense and maturity than the anti-Japan crowd on this website, will change the views of majority of the nation. But one can only hope.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bart FargoToday  10:26 am JST

I wonder if the students from Japan are zainichi-Koreans.

Never says the students are Japanese (though zainichi-Koreans do take a Japanese name).

They most likely are considering the NGO sponsoring this. One of them definitely is as she wears Jeogori.

https://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye3464865.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So moon was right northe korea with japan’s help without sk will bcom better economic power house so the fate of sk is sealed

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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