Opening Remarks
KIM Seok-jong, CEO of Kyunghyang Shinmun

Welcome to Kyunghyang Forum celebrating the 9th anniversary this year.

Since our founding in 1946, Kyunghyang Shinmun has been continuously advancing for nearly 8 decades. In 1998, Kyunghyang Shinmun was reborn as Korea's first employee stock owned newspaper as an independent media outlet and became a representative public opinion newspaper in Korea which is not biased towards any side.

In 2016, Kyunghyang Shinmun hosted the first <Kyunghyang Forum> under the theme of The New Normal Era - Innovation and Insights. Following that, it has secured meaningful breakthroughs under various distinguishing topics. It addressed the themes of the 4th Industrial Revolution - New Opportunities and New Challenges in 2017, BEYOND $30000, Striving for a better tomorrow - Beyond inequality in 2018, Korean Peninsula 2.0 - Working Towards Mutual Prosperity in 2019, COVID-19 and Its Aftermath: Roadmap for Navigating the Post-Pandemic World Order in 2020, Living with the Climate Crisis: The Path to Survival in 2021, The Age of Great Transformation: Roads to a Sustainable Future in 2022 and Beyond Growth – New Paradigms for Common Prosperity in 2023.

This year's <Kyunghyang Forum> will explore the theme of Bridging the Divide, the Value of Diversity and Inclusion. With the dismantlement of the established order that has been the backbone of the international society including South Korea, conflicts and hatred are spreading out and social polarization is deepening. Many of the global leaders elected through voting are more like being anti-democratic or dictatorial. Politics is serving as a catalyst provoking and inciting conflict instead of resolving it. The society is regressing and pushing out minorities. As human rights, multilateralism and globalism are threatened, even the international order is faltering. In this regard, the principle of solidarity is now more necessary than ever to bridge the divide and stand up against the retreating democracy.

<Kyunghyang Forum> invites experts from various fields to suggest the direction in which we should move forward. This year's forum will be graced with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary RODHAM CLINTON, Professor Yascha MOUNK at Johns Hopkins University, Dean YAN Xuetong of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University, author of Minor Feelings and Professor Cathy PARK HONG at UC Berkeley, and Professor Emilia PALONEN at the University of Helsinki, Finland. We will discuss how the values that we should pursue, such as diversity and inclusion, can be the solution.

This year's <Kyunghyang Forum> will be a meaningful opportunity to diagnose the current state of democracy in crisis and seek ways to overcome the divided era. Kyunghyang Shinmun will continue to strive to create a sustainable future and a fair society. We ask for your continued interest and participation. Thank you

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