On August 1st, United States Representative Ed Royce visited Oxford hotel in Koreatown to discuss the current status on the reunification of North and South Korea. The seminar, held by the National Unification Advisory Council, was open to people of all ages, and many high school and college students attended to listen to his speech and ask questions.
Ed Royce, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs since January 2013, spoke of something that many South Koreans doubt today: a successful and peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
Joshua Choi, a senior at Crescenta Valley High School claims, “With the increasing disparities between the North and the South, I have become concerned that reunification is less and less likely.”
However, it seems that Ed Royce’s speech bred hope in many, and after the conference, Joshua reclaims, “When Congressman Royce paralleled the Korean division with that of Berlin after World War Two and reunification as inevitable, it was both reassuring and inspiring. Despite being born after the Korean War, I wholeheartedly wish for Korea to become whole again, and this seminar has me convinced that it is something to expect.”
Most Koreans are doubting the reunification of the Korean peninsula anytime soon. A small fraction of those Koreans, however, received an opportunity to become hopeful. Ed Royce spoke in favor of more aid and defense systems from the U.S. to prevent the possible escalation of conflicts from North Korea’s threats and of bettering the human rights issues.
After the seminar, Mr. Royce stopped by each table, agreeing to take pictures, chat, and share contact information. He focused on the students’ tables, giving the next generation of leaders great attention.
John Choi, another senior at Crescenta Valley High School, conveys after the meeting, “The conference put a large emphasis on the critical role of the public in achieving Korean reunification and taught me that the younger generation, especially the children of Korean immigrants, plays a large part in this process, as we can not only make change through our individual actions, but we can also pressure the government as a newly rising voting group.”