Using Germany’s experience of reunification to help Korea – that is the task of a high-level advisory group, the establishment of which has now received official approval.
There is a connection between Germany and Korea due to the fact that both have seen their country divided in two for many long years. Germany overcame this division 25 years ago, in Korea it has endured since the end of the Second World War (although the demarcation line was moved slightly in 1953, following the Korean War).
Enabling Korea to benefit from Germany’s experience
The first time that he spoke to his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung‑se on the phone after taking office, Foreign Minister Steinmeier suggested that they set up a joint advisory body in order to share with South Korea Germany’s experience of dealing with the foreign policy side of the reunification process.
The plan was then approved when South Korean President Park Geun‑hye visited Berlin in March of this year.
Memorandum of Understanding signed
At the Federal Foreign Office, State Secretary Markus Ederer and South Korea’s Ambassador, Kim Jae‑shin, have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding on setting up the advisory group. At the signing ceremony, State Secretary Ederer said:
I am pleased that today we were able to set up this advisory group on the foreign policy element of reuniting Korea.25 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, we in Germany are both honoured and delighted to share our experience of the foreign policy aspect of reuniting Germany with our Korean partners.
The German side has appointed six experienced parliamentarians, academics and diplomats to the advisory group. They include former Foreign Minister of the GDR Markus Meckel, who, along with West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, represented Germany at the negotiations on the Two plus Four Treaty, and Member of the German Bundestag Hartmut Koschyk, Chair of the German-Korean Parliamentary Friendship Group.
The body is set to start work next month.