2019 DMZ Peace Festival Held Successfully on June 29 in Paju, Korea
The 2019 DMZ Peace Festival was held in a great success on June 29, 2019 in Paju, Korea, drawing about 10,000 people, including some 5,000 taekwondo practitioners, most of them are members of the GCS Global Peace Corps.
The 2019 DMZ Peace Festival was jointly promoted by GCS International, headed by Dr. Chungwon Choue, who also serves as president of World Taekwondo, and the Kukmin Daily, one of Korea’s influential nationwide newspapers.
The inaugural event was organized by the DMZ Peace Festival Organizing Committee and Coopeartion Act, a non-profit organization initially run by high school and college students in the United States.
Among supporters of the peace festival were World Taekwondo, the Gyeong Gi-Do Taekwondo Association, the Oughtopian Peace Foundation, Radian QBio, Paju City, the Korean National Tuberculosis Association, the National Unification Advisory Council and the Korea Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Under the theme “Hand in Hand for Peace,” the one-day event was aimed to help support North Korean children suffering from tuberculosis and free taekwondo education for deprived children in developing countries.
Among VIPs attending the inaugural DMZ Peace Festival were GCS International President Chungwon Choue; Byun Jae-woon, president of the Kukmin Ilbo; Roh Tae-kang, the 2nd vice minister of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Park Jeong and Woon Hu0duk, members of the National Assembly of Korea; Lee Hwa-young, vice governor for peace of Gyeonggi Province; Choi Jong-whan, major of Paju City; and Kim Kyung-duk, president of the Gyeong Gi-Do Ta3kwondo Association; Seung Myung-ho, a board member of GCS International and chairman of the Hankook Ilbo; Shim Ho-myung, president of GCS International Korea Chapter; Byon Kwan-chul, president of the World Taekwonship Federation; and Rony Moon, president of Cooperation Act.
The festival was composed of two parts: an official opening ceremony and various taekwondo performances at the Imjingak Peace (Pyeonghwa) Nuri Park in Paju, and an art exhibition along the electric fences of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) near the Peace Nuri Park. It takes about one hour by car to get to the Paju Peace Nuri Park from Seoul.
For taekwondo performances, the WT Taekwondo Demonstration Team made a 25-minute performance, followed by a 20-minute performance by the GCS Global Peace Corps Taekwondo Demonstration Team. The organizers had planed a joint taekwondo demonstration by the Seoul-based World Taekwondo and the North Korea-based International Taekwondo Federation (ITF).
About 5,000 taekwondo practitioners from across the nation, most of them are members of the GCS Global Peace Corps, made a flash mob performance, wishing for world peace, drawing a big applause from the spectators.
For the art exhibition of the 2019 DMZ Peace Festival, Cooperation Act, a U.S. NGO, received about 500 art pieces, drawings and/or paintings, in a digital art file from participants outside of Korea. The topic of the art exhibition was world peace. The art pieces were on display in an original size and/or in a postcard size in two designated areas of the 3.2km span of the DMZ.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of GCS International. We are pleased to work with the Kukmin Daily for the 2019 DMZ Peace Festival through which we want to show the world that taekwondo is a peace-loving Olympic sport,” said GCS International President Chungwon Choue. “Proceeds from the event will be used to help support North Korean children suffering from tuberculosis and free taekwondo education for children in developing countries.”
Dr. Choue said, “Under the GCS slogan of ‘Peace is More Precious than Triumph,’ I ask all the participating members of the GCS Global Peace Corps to strive to fulfill their social responsibility for the mankind through taekwondo.”