Kim Sun-hyang, Chairman of University of North Korean Studies (UNKS), published a photographic memoir titled The Days in the Photo on June 2021. The memoir consists of a total of six chapters, each containing a variety of stories about her life experiences. This article will summarize and discuss those experiences on chapters 1 and 2.
Chapter 1. International Conference and Journey
Kim Sun-hyang begins her memoir describing her married life to the KU president, Park Jae Kyu; who has devoted his whole life to the study of peaceful unification of Korean Peninsula. Starting with attending the International Military Academy in Montpellier, France (1981), she and her husband attended the Korea-Indonesia Conference (1981), Academic Exchange and International Conference in Bali, Indonesia (1998), International Conference with the Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Vladivostok, Russia (2002), and even more countries such as Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, France, and Mexico. In recognition of President Park’s passion and efforts for peaceful reunification, he became the 26th Minister of Unification under Kim Dae Jung government. He was able to successfully conclude the inter-Korean summit for the first time. Later, he served as the chief delegate to the first and fourth inter-Korean ministerial talks and did his best to improve inter-Korean relations. After completing his ministerial term, he made various efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. In recognition of his hard work, he was awarded the Global Understanding Award by Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in 2001, and the French Peace Prize in 2009, the Chirac Foundation's special anti-conflict award. So far we have looked at the footsteps of President Park Jae Kyu and Chairman Kim Sun-hyang, who have walked with one goal of peaceful unification, through her Photo Memoir. Although her role was not revealed to the public until the result was obtained, it is inevitable to admit that she is the hidden contributor who has most significantly influenced his activities.
Chapter 2. My Work.
Chapter 2 deals with the story of human Kim Sun-hyang. She has served as a professor at several universities for 38 years and written several poetry books in English. Her previous works include an anthology Journal of Poems, expressing her life through poetry. In 2000, she served as a member of the Women's Service Advisory Committee of the Korean Red Cross. Also, twice she has served as vice president of the Korean Red Cross and she has taken on the role as acting chairman. As of now she is serving as an advisor to the Red Cross Society's high-value donors' association. She is, also, trying to develop her knowledge in North Korean research as the chairman of UNKS, the nation's top North Korean Studies research institute.
Throughout her photo memoir, she has continued to document her diplomatic activities and other major experiences in her life. Additionally, to make the memoir easier to understand and more enjoyable, I recommend reading Determination: Journey to Peaceful Reunification of Korean Peninsula, a memoir by President Park Jae Kyu, published in August 2017. The memoir talks about his experiences and his desire to bring reunification on the Korean Peninsula. These two memoirs are not only personal records but are also valuable, historically significant records that show the nation's inter-Korean relations, diplomatic achievements, and Korean Red Cross activities at a glance.