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Faith Matters

Faith Matters

Learning from Germany - Korea's Chance to Reunite

Watch video 26:14
The Korean cellist Young-Chan Cho teaches at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany’s Ruhr region and at Yonsei University in Seoul. He witnessed the peaceful revolution of 1989 that led to the reunification of Germany; on the other hand, he knows the Military Demarcation Line that still divides North and South Korea, and the tension sparked by recent border incidents there. Cho believes that Koreans should learn from Germany how to reunite their country and prevent a terrible catastrophe. Professor Cho is a member of one of the large Presbyterian congregations in Seoul, which works in various ways to reconcile North and South Koreans. It provides language courses, for instance, for refugees from the north. After nearly 60 years of isolation, the language of North Korea has become so twisted by ideology that it is virtually unintelligible to South Koreans. The pain of political division runs deep. The musician Young-Chan Cho senses this as he stands on the Demarcation Line for the first time. Koreans from the democratic south are generally banned from visiting the former village of Panmunjom on the de facto border; the army says the area is too dangerous. After travelling through the demilitarized zone with a special permit, Professor Cho is depressed but all the more convinced: This absurd separation has to be overcome.