In the age of globalization, international events are no longer irrelevant to the Korean society. Even though it is important nowadays to keep up with the global issues, many Koreans lack the knowledge of and interest in the current events occurring in other countries. Determined to convey important global issues to the general public, a group of university students founded United Nations Chronicle Korea (UNCK), a Korean version of the UN Chronicle. The UN Chronicle is a quarterly publication of the United Nations that reports information on various global issues such as human rights, economic development and peacekeeping. The UNCK translates the original UN Chronicle into Korean and publishes the Korean version twice a year in concurrence with the social enterprise Edit the World. However, the UNCK does more than simply translating the UN Chronicle; it adds a bonus book that provides the students’ own unique views on the issues that are discussed in the original version. For example, for an issue on migration, the UNCK added a bonus book that discussed issues related to North Korean defectors. The members believe that providing such content makes global issues more comprehensible by relating them to the issues Koreans are interested in. The production of the magazine is mostly done by university students. Kim Jeong-tae, the CEO of social enterprise Merry Year Social Company, and the very person who suggested starting the UNCK in 2009, signs the contract for the publication rights of the UN Chronicle. Once the contract expires, the marketing team, the translating team and the design team participate in the production. They only receive professional aid in the finishing stage of publication with feedbacks. As students are involved in every process of the publication, the most rewarding moment for them is when the magazine they have worked on for months is finally published.
“It is rewarding when we receive reactions from readers and realize there is an actual demand for the work we do,” said Lee Yun-ji, the General Manager of the UNCK. “Once, a woman with her child came to us when we were promoting our magazine and asked what kind of organization we were. Hearing about our goal, she told us that since Koreans are not well aware of global issues, the projects we carry out are necessary.” In addition to publishing the UN Chronicle Korea, the UNCK uploads articles introducing events or issues of the international society three times a week. It is not easy for members to conduct research on unfamiliar topics and write long articles on global topics. However, they hope their hard work would convey the values pursued by the UN and deliver the current global issues to people who are not particularly interested in international news. “Our long-term goal is to become a platform for people to learn about the international society,” Lee said. “Because news articles are often biased and have different opinions on some issues, we want to provide information from a neutral perspective.” So far, the UNCK has published five issues. The sixth issue is planned to be released in mid-May. As the new issue is about education, the organization is planning to hand their magazines out to some guest speakers at the World Education Forum, which will be held from May 19 to 21.