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30 June 2006

Two Australian secondary students visiting South Korea to study prospects for peace and reunification will question a key Korean government adviser next week in the National Museum of Australia's first Asian Talkback Classroom.

The students - Georgina Sneddon, of Canberra, and Isaac Wright, of Boorowa - have been working with two South Korean students - Minyoung Rhee and Dong Wook Oh - to interview Dr Moon Chung-in on the future of the Korean peninsula, divided into North and South Korea in 1948.

Prior to their departure to Korea, Georgina and Isaac interviewed the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and the Republic of Korea's Ambassador to Australia, Cho Chang-beom.

In Korea the students have gained an understanding of reunification issues through briefings with experts from the United Nations International Crisis Group, the United States and Australian embassies, the Korean War Memorial Museum and the Korean Development Institute. They also visited the Demilitarised Zone on the 38th parallel.

Dr Moon is currently Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's special envoy on international affairs. He is professor of political science at Yonsei University and accompanied former president Kim Dae-jung to the historic Pyongyang Korean summit in June 2000.

The Talkback Classroom interview can be seen in the Studio, National Museum of Australia, Acton Peninsula, from 1.15pm to 2.30pm EST on Monday, 3 July.

The students' trip and the forum will be the subject of a television documentary produced by the Korea's Educational Broadcasting System. This network will also host the forum on 3 July and provide a satellite link from Seoul to the National Museum in Canberra, where a student audience will be able to participate.

Talkback Classroom is a National Museum program that gives students access to key public figures as part of the civics curriculum. Guests have included Prime Minister John Howard and Governor-General Major-General Michael Jeffery.

This international forum has been made possible with the assistance of the Australia-Korea Foundation, established by the Australian Government in 1992 to extend the links between the peoples of Australia and Korea.

For interviews, images or more information please contact Leanda Kitchen on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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