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Father of Peace Studies, Professor Johan Galtung
Professor Johan Galtung, is a world-renowned scholar known as the “Pioneer of Peace Studies” and the “Father of Peace Studies.” He was born in 1930 in Oslo, Norway. He earned his PhD degrees in mathematics and sociology at the University of Oslo. He has served as a professor of peace studies at various universities all over the world, including Columbia (New York), Oslo, Berlin, Belgrade, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Sichuan, Ritsumeikan (Japan), Princeton, Hawaii, Tromsoe, Bern, and Alicante (Spain). He has published more than 1,500 articles and over 150 books including “Essays in Peace Research”, of which 130 are translated in 33 languages.
During Prof. Galtung’s visit to Korea this past August, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee took the opportunity to invite Prof. Galtung to their office to talk about Peace with other Korean professors on August 23 (Sunday).
First, the meeting opened with the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee explaining about the Sunhak Peace Prize and showing video clips of past media coverages on the laureate announcement press conference held in Washington DC. Prof. Galtung commented, “Nature is very complicated, it causes variations. To say that CO2 causes warming, and that if there’s less CO2 there would be less warming, is a ridiculous implicity” and added, "When it comes to the environment, we must not only protect nature but improve nature. And for that, we have to change our ownership." He also commented that the 'One family under God' peace vision is different from the chosen people ideology of Jewish centrists and Chinese sinocentrism.
In 1985, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon dreamt of a ‘Peace Road’ which would connect continents, and within that vision was a plan for a “Bering Strait Tunnel.” When the Committee mentioned about this, Prof. Galtung said laughingly, “Since my wife is Japanese, I’ve been demanding for a railroad that would connect Oslo and Tokyo since 1975.”
He emphasized that the realization of the idea is much more important than any idea no matter how great it was and remarked, “Not a Silk Road but a Silk Railroad. The Chinese are connecting the world. The Chinese have been ingenious in investing. What China is doing is changing the meaning of diversity.”
The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee asked Prof. Galtung's opinion about the current situation between North and South Korea. He replied, "My first advice would be to the Korean government, to set apart from the United States. They are too dependent on the United States. The second advice would be to sign a peace treaty with North Korea." He finished the meeting by quoting the words of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
"Rev. Moon said 'If North Korea provokes a war against the South Korean people, my followers will organize a Unification Army and take part in the war as a supporting force to defend both North and South Koreans and the free world.’ His idea to defend both the North and the South, rather than choose one side over the other, is absolutely brilliant.”