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'We respect Germans for courage to reflect on shameful past': Roh
May 4, 2005
BERLIN-- Koreans respect Germans for their courage to frankly acknowledge their shameful past earn the trust of the international community, President Roh Moo-hyun said on April 12.
Noting that Germany made amends with victims for the last 60 years following the end of World War II and that it compiled history textbooks in consultation with its neighboring countries, Roh said Koreans are genuinely envious of the Germans' action, given the situation of the Koreans bound to forge peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.
In particular, the president said what Koreans are most envious of is the reunification of Germany, the integration of the European Union, and the cleanup of the past. Roh made the remarks in a speech delivered at the Intercontinental Hotel in Berlin. He hosted the dinner at the hotel for the German-Korean Parliamentary Friendship Association on the third day of his state visit to Germany.
Recalling vivid recollections when the Berlin Wall came down on Nov. 9, 1989, Roh said that looking at Brandenburg Gate, he could feel the power of Germany that had translated the Brandenburg Gate's symbol of confrontation and division into one of freedom and peace together with conviction in the progress in history. "We learn from the German reunification and get hope from it," he went on, saying that Korea, as the world's only divided country, has much to do before achieving the same goal.
Speaking highly of Germany's leading role in the realization of the EU, Roh said Europe has put behind the history of war and confrontation and is being reborn as a community of peace of prosperity. He expressed hope that the order of reconciliation and integration could be established in Northeast Asia, while pledging to strive toward the goal.
He said that through the visit, he confirmed a great hope for the future under which Korea and Germany will work together as partners of peace and prosperity and was certain that relations between the two will further be developed amid invariable friendship.