The Words of the Zharinov Family

Promoting the Northeast Asia Peace Initiative in Russia

Konstantin Zharinov
December 31, 2012
UPF -- Russia

Moscow, Russia -- UPF Russia's main goal in support of the Northeast Asia Peace Initiative is to consolidate efforts in the countries of the former Soviet Union that could favorably affect the process of peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula. During 2012 consultations were held with Russian and foreign experts to pursue solutions.

Konstantin Zharinov, coordinator of UPF-Russia's Northeast Asia Peace Initiative, works as a volunteer with the Northeast Asia Peace Initiative in addition to holding a full-time job. Since he developed the site, he has become known in the circles of Korean experts in Moscow. His site is respected by both the North and South sides, which is very rare. In Russia, one has far easier access to North Koreans than elsewhere, and he is using this opportunity a lot. He has met with embassy officials from both the South and North and participates in every Korea-related event in Moscow as a representative of UPF.It is important to note that in his position he does not take sides and accuses neither the North nor the South. To maintain a balance is very complicated.

The following is an account of events that he participated in or helped to organize; the programs are mostly self-financed.

Caring for veterans of the Korean War

He partnered with a Moscow school to create a museum dedicated to the Korean War, and the items in the exhibits come both from North and South.

On June 23, in relation to the 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, the Museum of Air Defense Troops in the city of Balashikha, Moscow region, held a commemoration of the event with the participation of the Moscow City Council of Korean War Veterans. Ambassadors for Peace and Mr. Konstantin Zharinov were key participants.

Electronic connections

The design of the website has been updated, and the number of daily visitors is constantly growing. The site is maintained by Konstantin Zharinov. The number of experts who offer their comments on the site has considerably grown. Two experts from Russia began publishing their materials on a regular basis.

A Moscow -- Beijing video bridge on the theme of "New U.S. Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region" took place in the RIA Novosti press center on January 16. Dr. Vladimir Petrovsky was an organizer of the event on the Beijing side. A second video bridge on the theme "Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula: New Leader of North Korea -- New Opportunities?" took place on February 23.

A presentation about the Russian pavilion at EXPO-2012 in Yeosu, Korea, took place in the Cultural Center of the Republic of Korea Embassy on March 23. Reporters from visited EXPO-2012 on May 11; they were the only Russian journalists who attended the opening ceremony and were warmly welcomed by employees of the press center in the Russian pavilion. The journalists got an opportunity to survey the exhibition together with the General Commissioner of the Russian pavilion, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Georgy Kalamanov.

During the 2morrow/Tomorrow international independent film festival, a reporter from participated in the October 6 press conference of the world-famous South Korean film director Kim Ki Duk.

The news agency RIA Novosti hosted a press conference on the "Asian Vector of Russia's Development and Bilateral Cooperation with South Korea" on October 23. Experts in the gas area shared about prospects of constructing a Trans-Korean gas pipeline and the significant potential for cooperation between Russia and South Korea in the field of energy.

Reporters from participated in the North Korea exhibition of contemporary art "North Korea in the Rays of the Spring Sun" that was opened by DPRK Ambassador to Moscow, Kim Yong Dje, and a deputy of the State Duma from "Russia the Just," Alexander Chetverikov, on November 23.

On December 18, reporters from were guests at a party for Russian bloggers who submitted applications to participate in a competition initiated by the national organization for tourism of South Korea on the theme "The So Different Korea"; was entered in the competition. This was the first contest in Russia of the best web sites or social networking pages about the Republic of Korea. The results of the competition will be published in March 2013.

People-to-people diplomacy

The 16th academic conference with the participation of scholars from the U.S., Russia, and CIS countries on the topic of the "Korean Peninsula: On the Eve of Changes," took place at the Far East Institute of RAS on March 29-30. Konstantin Zharinov represented UPF at the event.

The all-Russia academic conference of young scientists specializing in Korean research took place at the Institute of Asian and African Countries of Moscow State University on March 31. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Korea Wee Son-Nak (???) welcomed the audience.

A "Lesson for Peace" was offered to the 11th-grade students at the Cheonshim High School in the city of Gapyeong in South Korea on May 9. The focus was on the history of Russian-Korean relations, difference between cultures and world views.

An international conference on "One Korea -- The Dream of the Entire Korean Nation" was held at the Rushotel in Moscow on October 3. The conference marked the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration of North and South Korea on October 4, 2007. The organizers of the forum were the public Association of the Koreans of the YPU «?????????», with the support of the Embassy of North Korea. The conference was attended by the North Korean Ambassador in Moscow, Kim Yong Dje.

An informal dialogue with the Governor of Kenghi-do Province in South Korea, Kim Moon-soo, with Russian researchers of Korean history was held at the Ukraine Hotel in Moscow on October 25. Discussions focused on the relations between two Koreas.

A bilateral Russian-Korean conference at the MGIMO-IFANS on "International and Political Aspects of the Problem of Settlement on the Korean Peninsula" took place at the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Affairs of the MFA of Russia (MGIMO-University) on November 15. Among the Russian participants in the conference were professors of MGIMO-University; on the Korea side were scholars from the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security.

On the first anniversary of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, representatives of UPF-Russia offered condolences at the Embassy of DPRK in Moscow, on December 17. 

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