Backgrounder: Peninsulas have played an important role in the development of civilizations around the world. Connecting land and sea, they have been the crossroads of cultural and economic exchange, and have provided a stimulating environment for developments in human thought and spiritual growth. The Balkan Peninsula, the cradle of Hellenic culture, is one of the original sources of European Civilization. The Korean Peninsula, with its rich cultural history, rose to economic prominence in a few decades and is becoming a cultural leader in Asia and the world.
The Balkan and Korean peninsulas are geographically, culturally and economically far apart. However, their citizens have gone through many similar challenges in history. With a pioneering and adventurous spirit, they have developed flourishing cultures, with high levels of human creativity. But they have also greatly suffered due to power struggles in neighboring empires. Today, the Balkan and Korean peninsulas are still paying the price for the 'cold war' that set the democratic and communist worlds against each other.
What pointers toward peacebuilding can the Balkans and Korea offer to each other? Can they cooperate to overcome the divisions inherited from the conflicts of the 20th century?