Merkel Promises Help with Korea Reunification

President Park Geun-hye (right) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. President Park Geun-hye (right) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

President Park Geun-hye and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday discussed the prospects for Korean reunification.

At a press conference afterwards, Merkel recalled that she herself "was the byproduct of unification, I would say. I spent my childhood in former East Germany, and the event of the Berlin Wall falling changed the lives of 17 million people in former East Germany."

"Discussions on unification are under way between the foreign ministries of South Korea and Germany, and we will provide support so that unification will be realized in Korea," Merkel said. "Germany was divided for 40 years and Korea has been divided for almost 70 years. I think it is our obligation to help South Korea achieve unification."

The German chancellor said North and South Korea are "completely different" now and reunification will require a great deal of economic preparation.

Park said, "For us, Germany is a model for peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula because the country has gone beyond unification and achieved national unity." She added, "We agreed to share Germany's experiences in an effective manner."

Park moved on to Dresden on Thursday and plans to announce her unification policy at a university there on Friday.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 28, 2014 09:34 KST