The Council on Unification and Perspective
September 15, 2003
By Kwangil Chung
Korean Americans wonder about the prerogatives of the Advisory
Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification (ACDPU) in New York.
Is it a group of people who continue to be concerned about reunification
of divided home country even as they are busy making a living in
a foreign country, or do they merely desire the prestige of a title
under a big organization while not actually working to accomplish
The answer is closer to the latter, and this
merits an examination on the role of the ACDPU in New York City.
On Sep 4, the eleventh
term of the ACDPU of New York began with the participation of 200
familiar faces from Korean community leaders in New York and New
Jersey. This makes a critical look at the meaning of the Council
in New York City's Korean community necessary.
The ACDPU is a governmental
advisory organization. Since its foundation it has been fundamentally
different from other community organizations,
most of which are formed independently and run autonomously. The
Council is actually a part of Korean government and it follows
the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
It is very different
from business owners’ organizations
which promote economic benefits, or local groups which are concerned
well being of Korean communities in New York.
The ACDPU in N.Y.
is making a mistake by avowing an interest in Korean-American
promotion or engaging in business that is better
left to lawyers or accountants.
Indeed, the activities of previous
terms of the ACDPU Council have not been very different from
those sponsored by other local
They held golf events, organized picnics, or invited celebrities
over from Seoul.
These events, which do not further any of the
ACDPU's claimed responsibilities, have been heavily covered by
The ACDPU is defined as making recommendations
and providing consultations to President with regard to the necessary
Cultural, educational or law-related events could be left
to a secondary consideration. Currently, the Council structure
and bureaucratic, including many positions that are not
crucial to the unification issue.
Going through Kim DaeJung to President
Roh, it is time for the Council to pay greater attention to its
The unification is about more than obtaining
a Council title and taking pictures with the Korean President
Korean Americans should take stronger part in unification
process by providing their unique voice and role from
the United States.
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Translated from Korean by Joo Yeon Lee