Merkel Wins Seoul Peace Prize

  • By Lee Yong-soo

    September 18, 2014 09:33

    Angela Merkel

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named the recipient of the 12th Seoul Peace Prize. This is the first time the prize has been given to an incumbent head of government.

    The prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

    Merkel "has resolved conflict and antagonism between the invader and its victims by ceaselessly reflecting on and apologizing for Germany's past atrocity of threatening and destroying world peace, although she was born after World War II came to an end," the prize committee said on Wednesday. "She has contributed greatly to promoting world peace and human welfare."

    The conservative politician is also being recognized for her leadership in battling Europe's economic crisis in 2009; contributing to international peace by joining the U.S.' "war on terror"; and addressing issues such as renewable energy.

    In a speech at the UN General Assembly in 2007, she apologized for Germany's mistakes during World War II, and in an address before Israel's Knesset in March the following year, she talked about Germany's "Holocaust shame."

    Merkel said she was grateful to receive an internationally recognized award and promised to come to Seoul to accept the prize, a committee spokesman said.

    The ceremony will be arranged in Seoul to fit in with her schedule. She will receive a prize certificate, a plaque, and prize money amounting to US$ 200,000.

    Nine people and two organizations have won the Seoul Peace Prize. Among them, are Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) in 1996, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in 1998, and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus in 2006, who all later won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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