The Korean wave of optimism for reunification between North and South is being brought to New Zealand.
South Korea's Deok-ryong Kim, vice-chair of its National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC) and his delegation will be leading a "South Korea-Oceania Peace Forum" being held here for the first time tomorrow.
Hopes of ending a 68-year military conflict between South and North Korea started with a landmark meeting between the South's president Moon Jae In and North's Kim Jong Un in April.
Earlier this month, history was again made when US President Donald Trump met Kim, the North Korean dictator, at a summit in Singapore.
"South and North are moving in the same direction, and the international community, including the US and China also, at an unprecedented speed," said An Ki-jong, president of the council's NZ chapter.
"Unification is not an option but a must, and it is our hope that this can bring about the development of every Korean citizen and bring world peace."
An said the peace forum is the first event ever in New Zealand and considered it to be "a symbolic and monumental" event.
North and South Korea are still technically at war because a peace treaty was never signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.
Nearly 6000 New Zealand soldiers fought in the war between 1950 and 1953 and 33 were killed.
Jeremy Ryu, 39, NUAC executive member, said most Koreans attending tomorrow's summit would have just known a divided Korea. He moved to New Zealand 17 years ago.
"We are excited and very optimistic about possible reunification, but really many of us cannot imagine what a unified Korea will be like," Ryu said.
"What will be discussed at the forum will address some of this, and keep us up to date on what is really happening."
Friday's summit will discuss challenges and opportunities between South Korea and Oceania, but reunification will rank high on the agenda.
"Behind all the excitement and optimism, I think we all need to understand how a unified Korea will impact New Zealand and affect the rest of the world," Ryu said.
Speakers at the summit include University of Canterbury Professor of Korean History Kenneth Wells, who will speak on NZ's role in the Korean peace process, and Rev Richard Hume Lawrence speaking on NZ's role in the change of North Korea.
Moon is pushing for peace on the Korean peninsula and said denuclearisation of the North was a first priority.
Ryu said about 150 people are expected to attend the summit at Hilton Auckland on Princes Wharf, including National's Korean-born MP Melissa Lee, the Korean ambassador and the consul general.