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2019 Winter Personal Essay

GGHS 2019 Winter - Team 6

Growth of Four times in Global Camp

-and its destination, the last global camp in 2019

The reason why I participated the global camp again

I have participated in global issue forum camp four times for 2 years including this winter global camp that topic is “Ganghwa’s Cultural and Natural Heritage”. If someone asks me why I participated in the camp four times, I would like to answer like this. As I participate in the global camp where the process and the consequences are growing, I felt that my direction of career are also devloping and be definitized. In particular, in the 2018 Summer Global Camp, deepened topic exploration through the use of the media wiki was a big motivation for me to participate in the 2019 Winter Global Camp. I wanted to participate the Global Camp again by supplementing the many things that I felt regretful about working in team project during the summer global camp. So, I wanted to make up for the weak points in Summer Global Camp. Also, I was interested in the process of sharing topics with many people around the world using MediaWiki. Moreover, I have always had a big interest in English conversation and thought that it will be the last chance to communicate in English in High school. So, I decided to join in the global camp again.

The process of deciding the topic

Unlike the previous camp, where students first chose a topic and notified foreign teachers, in 2019 winter camp, the topics were conducted by foreign teachers first with 10 big themes, and then the students were able to shape the details of the topic in them. Thus, it was nice to feel more structured and professional. I chose "Military History and Ganghwa" because I’m interested in relationship between South and North Korea and also international relationship. I thought I could connect them to the military histroy in Ganghwa. Also, because many historical events in Ganghwa were accompanied by military events, I wanted to explore the role of Ganghwa in each military events, its influence on history, and its role in relationship between South and North Korea in the present. These things were discussed with the members of our group and intergrated into “Military History and Ganghwa - Joseon Period and Contemporary International Relations.”

Deciding questions that should be answered

On the topic, we decided to focus on three military events that took place in Ganghwa Island in the Joseon Dynasty and the role of Ganghwa by linking them to the present. Before the camp, even if I am a person who has been living in Ganghwa for 19 years, I was aware of some military events in Ganghwa in theory, but focused only on the content, I had no chance to think about the significance of the incident. So, through the global camp, I wanted to answer the question 'So, what was the role of Ganghwa in these military events?'. Also, taking it one step further, I tried to provide the answer to ‘What can be learned in modern times through this historical military significance.’

Our answers to questions

In conclusion, our answers to the questions were these things. First, Ganghwa is on a path from ‘a painful center of history’ to ‘a place of harmony’. For example, Korean-Japanese Treaty of 1876 is meaningful because it was the first modern treaty with foreign country. In addition, because of the Korean-Japanese Treaty of 1876, the Joseon Dynasty was able to appear on the world stage, adapting a new policy of opening a port. However, it was the starting point of the colonizaion of Japan because it was the unequal treaty. Ganghwa can be called the place where the painful history was started because the treaty between Japan and Joseon which can be called the start of the colonization of Japan was made in Ganghwa. However, it is no exaggeration to say that Ganghwa is at the geographical center of peace and at the harmony in the process of developing relations between South and North Korea. In the future, Ganghwa will move toward a "center of peace" rather than a "strategic position of military". Thus, the place Ganghwa will gradually prepare for the beginning of the desired harmony in the Korean Peninsula.

Secondly, in the present, Korea need 'independent diplomatic efforts.' Through the process of examining the consequences and significance of military events and analyzing their merits and demerits, I learned the way that Korea should conduct to cope with the struggle of power against foreign powers. Especially, the conflict between the forces for enlightment and the opposing forces shows a similar aspect to the way of conducting poilitics in modern society: whether politicians will depend on the power of foreign countries or proceed the politics independently. This is appeared by the appearance of foreign powers surrounding the Korean Peninsula and it gives a clue that how we should deal with the relationship between South and North Korea: Many foreign countries such as China, U.S, Russia, and Japan are connected with Korea and they have much interests in relationship between North and South Korea. In this situation, there are few things that Korea should remember. First, we should remember the events in the past such as the Korean-Japanese treaty of 1876 so that we cannot repeat the same problems. So, secondly, we should not repeat the same problem in the past like the Korean-Japanese Treaty of 1876. Also, it should be reflected in the present so that it can not be repeated. Therefore, we should improve our strength to deal with our on problem actively without the interference of foreign power.

Realizing the significance of military incidents

As I examined the significance of military events in Ganghwa, I realized the importance of Ganghwa as a geographical center in the past. Moreover, researching the role of Ganghwa in the modern society, I realized that Ganghwa is gradually moving from a ‘strategic point for military’ to a ‘peace center’. As I put the results of my research on a MediaWiki, I felt the responsibility of our history and I thought I should do my best to post the meaningful materials. I think this was the most meaningful activity in my global camp.

My role&efforts to global camp and my future hopes for global camp

The global camp has always provided meaningful results through the exploration and investigation of topics related to our career and presenting them in English. It was same in this global camp, too. Especially, in this global camp, the English usage rate was the highest and the exchange with foreign teachers was also active. I tried to share my opinions with my team based on English communication. So, I tried hard to reduce the use of Korean and communicate with foreign teachers as much as possible. Also, I played a main role of sharing the opinions of each team members with foreign teacher in English. I realized I should improve my English skills for more smooth communication. This was an important time that I could reflect myself. As a result, there were more left things to be learned. It was meaningful that we could make some significant suggestions with MediaWiki, not just researching and exploring the subject. I think future global camps will be great if they strengthen these things: using English in global camp and using MediaWiki.

2018 Summer Personal Essay

“The measures for Unified Korea based on the diplomacy and the internal policy in Goryeo Dynasty”

Welcoming the 1100th year anniversary of founding Goryeo Dynasty, we are going to make a research about “The measures for Unified Korea based on the diplomacy and the internal policy in Goryeo Dynasty”. This year is a meaningful year in our history. Goryeo Dynasty is the Dynasty that Wanggun unified the separated Korean Peninsula again in the later Silla. In the process of unification of Goryeo, there were many factors that Wanggun can unite the separated countries. I thought we can draw a direction of our unification of the present Korean Peninsula through Goryeo. So, I join this camp to research about these things. Of course it is true that historical situation in Goryeo and situation now is markedly different. However, I thought the factors of unification in Goryeo are enough to propose the measures for unified Korea. In other words, I choose this topic which is about the connection between unified Korea and unified Goryeo because I thought the reunification of Goryeo can give a implication to the present reunification.

Before I join this camp, in my school club, I researched about “The Unified Policy of Wanggun in Goryeo Dynasty”. As a result of this, I brought out the policy for unified Korea. So, I have some background knowledge about the connection between Goryeo and unification of Korea. Representatively, I researched some internal policy of Wanggun. We called these internal policy of Wanggun as ‘the policy of the livelihood of the people’. So, I tried to connect the Goryeo and present based on the things that I already know.

Developed the topics that I did in my school club, I tried to make a research about the external diplomacy and internal policy of kings in Goryeo. I expanded the topics from ‘the policy of Wanggun’ to ‘the internal policy of kings in Goryeo Dynasty’. I think we can draw out more expanded policy for unified Korea with this expanded topic. In our expanded topic, my role was to research and write about the fundamental information. Also, I drew out the conclusion based on this fundamental information like historical background; Accomplishing Diplomacy Based on Political System between South and North Korea, Diplomatic Relation between the Two Koreas. The conclusion divided into two parts; based on ‘the diplomacy of Goryeo’ and based on ‘the internal policy of Goryeo’. I claimed that we should implement the diplomacy of balance between China and America. Also, I emphasized that we should use Japan to have a positive relationship with North Korea. Besides, as a leader of the team, I lead the debate and discussion. In the middle of the discussion, there were some problems in our topic. So, I heard all members’ opinion about our topic and decided to change our topic; from ‘the reasons for the Collapse of the Goryeo Dynasty’s governing system to ‘The measures for Unified Korea based on the diplomacy and the internal policy in Goryeo Dynasty’.

Throughout our research, I had a chance to learn the greatness of Goryeo. Gwanghaegun of Joseon said like this. “Please emulate the diplomacy of Goryeo.” It shows how splendid the Goryeo was in politic and diplomatic fields. In this sense, I think Goryeo is deserved to be an example to the present. I also learned the necessity of policy for unification between South Korea and North Korea through our research. As I combine common features of Goryeo and the situation of present, I realized the circumstance that we encounter now is the important time. So, as important as the time is, I think we should pay close attention to establish countermeasures for unified Korea. If we don’t prepare properly for our reunification, we, Korean government should count the cost of not preparing our unification properly.

I expect that our research give the whole world a new perspective to see the unification of Korea and bring us closer to reunification of Korea. Except this, there are many things that I expect through this camp. Firstly, I expect to inform the unified policy of Goryeo to people that don’t know about it by researching the wonderful history of Goryeo. Secondly, we expect that we can contribute to the world peace by proposing the measures not only for Korea but also for the whole world based on the unification of Goryeo that made the peace in Korean Peninsula at that time. Also, through this camp, I want many people in the world to have the interest in our great historical Dynasty, Goryeo, and also reunification of Korea. In short, I expect that our research contributes to the preparation of unification and further world peace.