I am writing this column in the Leader’s Lounge at the Nuclear Safety Summit Seoul 2012 site in COEX. Within 48 hours, this site will be occupied by the 58 world leaders from over 50 nations to discuss various issues regarding nuclear development and find ways to keep the global peace. This summit is the biggest in its scale compare to any summit our nation had hosted in our history and therefore I, as the summit preparation advisor, had to work really hard for the past months along with other advisors and designers to make the summit hall exceptionally well planned and organized. I am now looking over every spots in the summit site to make sure it look professional and world leaders find the place comfortable to work each others. Having been involved in G20 Summit Seoul in 2010 preparation also, I could not help feeling proud towards the status of our nation now in global society.
When I went to U.S. to study for the first time in 1983, I had to explain where Korea is and the background of my own country because people were not familiar with Korea other than the image they have from the situation comedy called “M.A.S.H” which showed very low living standards of Korea as the scene was focused on during the Korean War in 1950’s. When I was in college, Korea had hosted 88 Olympic and wow, I still remember the excitement I had in my college dormitory as my friends all admired the beauty and history of Korea. Since the Olympic, I no longer had to explain where and what is “Korea” all about.
And now, Korea is standing way up there and we gained the reputation of one of the most successfully developed country and many of under developed countries bench mark our development process. I am sure all of the readers out there feel proud & exciting about this fact.
However, I think this is the moment for us to look back where we started and carefully review how we are now and must strategize what to do for the future if we want to keep up with our progress. As we all know, Koreans are dynamic and we know how to work effectively. And this character made us how we are today. But we must realize that we are not, yet, at the top. In order to keep up with our success and upgrade our success in future, I believe the key factor is “how the young students in Korea will create effective power.”
2012 spring semester started 3 weeks and have 13 weeks to go. You should take a moment and ask “What is my goal and how am I going to achieve it this semester?” Because, how you live today will lead your success tomorrow. It is not only just your success but in the long term, it will be the nation’s success. “Korea?” should always be “Korea!” Recent news says, the New York Times announced that they will no longer put DokDo campaign advertisement in their newspaper as Japan had made a serious appeal. Why the newspaper had to listen to that? It is the power and status of a nation.
So, again, we have a long way to go. And I think the hope is on you, the young students of Korea. Therefore, you need to look around, and look up. You need to look beyond your campus. The whole world out there is where you need to challenge and you have a lot of people you need to work with. There are a lot of opportunities on and off campus for you to expand your vision, such as global exploration program & study abroad program, so don’t seat still, get out and find your challenge! Aim high and aim well and I know you will make a difference for Korea and that is why I believe Korea has a hopeful future. Good luck Korean and most of all, good luck to you all Sookmyungian in 2012!