'As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen'
the Autobiography Text
LOVE WILL BRING
The Power of Religion
to Turn People to Goodness
On August 2, 1990,
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
invaded Kuwait, igniting the possibility
of war on the Persian Gulf.
This area has long been a tinderbox,
and I could see the world was
about to be swept up into war.
I concluded that Christian and Muslim
leaders must meet to stop the conflict.
I acted quickly to do all I could to stop
a war in which innocent people were sure
On October 2, I convened on short notice
an emergency conference of the Council
for the World's Religions in Cairo, Egypt,
to deliver my urgent message of peace
to the highest spiritual authorities of
the Middle East and the Muslim world.
Many wondered why, I, a person with
no apparent ties to the Middle East,
would convene such a meeting, but to me
it is simple. I believe every religion
should contribute to world peace. A conflict
between Christianity and Islam would be far
worse than a conflict between democracy and
communism. There is nothing more fearful
than religious war.
I sent a message imploring
President George H.W. Bush, who already was
trying to limit the conflict, to avoid war
in the Arab world and instead work to
bring about Saddam Hussein's retreat through
diplomatic means. President Bush may have
thought he was going to war against Iraq only,
but that is not how Muslims would think. For
Muslims, religion is in a higher position
than the nation-state. I was very concerned
that, if Iraq were attacked, the Arab world
would join in opposition to the United States
and the Christian world.
Our emergency conference in Cairo
involved top Muslim leaders and grand muftis
from nine countries, including
the grand muftis of Syria and Yemen. At the
core of the meeting was my desperate appeal
to the Arab and Muslim world not to support
Saddam Hussein's claim that this was a holy
war. Whether the United States won or Iraq
won, what good would it do? What value
would it have if it meant that bombs rained
down, destroying houses, schools and precious
The Cairo conference was just one of many
peace activities. Every time a crisis arose
in the Middle East, our members worked
fearlessly, risking their lives at the scenes
of danger. For years, during the violence and
terror in Israel and Palestine, our members,
traveling at a moment's notice, collaborated
with major organizations to work for peace.
I am always uneasy sending our members
to places where their lives are at risk, but
it is unavoidable when working for the cause
of peace. I may be in Brazil, tilling soil
under the blazing sun, or speaking far away
in Africa, but my heart is constantly drawn
to those members who insist on working in the
dangerous environment of the Middle East. I
pray that peace will come to the world quickly,
so I no longer need to ask our members to go
to such places of death.
On September 11, 2001, we all felt utter horror
when the World Trade Center twin towers in
New York City were destroyed by terrorists.
Some people said this was the inevitable clash
of civilizations between Islam and Christianity.
But my view is different.
In their purest form, Islam and Christianity
are not religions of conflict and confrontation.
They both place importance on peace. In my view,
it is bigoted to brand all Islam as radical,
just as it is bigoted to say that Islam and
Christianity are fundamentally different. The
essence of all religions is the same.
Immediately following the collapse of the towers,
I organized religious leaders from New York
to pray and minister to the victims and first
responders at Ground Zero. Then, in October, I
convened a major interfaith conference for peace
in New York City. Ours was the first inter-
national gathering in New York after the tragedy.
These dramatic contributions to peace in times
of war did not spring up from nothing. For
decades prior, I have invested in promoting
interreligious harmony. It is on the foundation
of this investment that we have the trust of
major faith leaders who would travel to Israel
during the Intifada or to New York in the wake
of the 9/11 attacks.
In 1984, I brought together forty religious
scholars, instructing them to compare the
teachings that appear in the texts of
Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other major
world religions. The book that resulted from
their efforts was World Scripture: A Comparative
Anthology of Sacred Texts, published in 1991.
What they found was that the sacred texts of
religions convey the same or similar teachings
more than seventy percent of the time. The
remaining thirty percent are teachings that
represent unique points of each religion. This
means that most of the teachings of the major
world religions are the same at their core.
The same is true of religious practice. On
the surface, some believers wear turbans, some
wear prayer beads around their necks, others
wear a cross, but they all seek the fundamental
truths of the universe, and try to understand
the will of the Divine One.
People often become friends even if all they
have in common is the same particular hobby.
When two strangers meet and discover they have
the same hometown,
they can immediately communicate as if they had
known each other for decades. So it is truly
tragic that religions, which share the same
teachings more than seventy percent of the time,
still struggle to understand each other and
communicate happily. They could talk about
the things they have in common and take each
other by the hand. Instead, they emphasize
their differences and criticize one another.
All religions in the world talk about peace
and love. Yet they fight each other over peace
and love. Israel and Palestine talk of peace
and justice, yet both practice violence until
children are bleeding and dying. Judaism,
the religion of Israel, is a religion of peace,
and the same is true of Islam.
Our experience when compiling World Scriptures
leads us to believe that it is not the religions
of the world that are in error but the ways
the faiths are taught. Bad teaching of faith
brings prejudice, and prejudice leads to conflict.
Muslims were branded terrorists
after the 9/11 attack. But the vast majority
of these simple, believing families are peace-
loving people, just like us.
The late Yasser Arafat led the Palestinians
for a long time. Like all political leaders, he
had hoped for peace, but he was also associated
with strife in the region. As Chairman of the
Palestinian Liberation Organization, Arafat
embodied the determination of the Gaza Strip
and the West Bank to become an Independent
Palestinian state. Many argue he shifted from
his past associations and began to deter the
activities of the extremist organizations after
he was elected President
of the Palestinian National Authority in 1996.
In the interest of seeking peace in the
Middle East, I communicated with Arafat on
twelve separate occasions. Of course, my words
to him never wavered. God's way is always the
way of harmony, seeking for peace.
The road to Arafat's office was literally
a difficult one. Anyone
approaching his office had to pass between
heavily armed guards and submit to
at least three body searches along the way.
But when our members arrived, Arafat,
wearing his keffiyeh (traditional head gear),
would warmly welcome them.
These sorts of relationships cannot be built
in a day or two. They come from the years,
when we poured out our sincerity and
devotion for the sake of Middle East peace.
It was our arduous efforts and constant
willingness to risk our lives in terror-ridden
areas that prepared the way for us to be
welcomed into relationships with the religious
and political leaders at these levels. It took
large amounts of resources. Finally, we could
gain the trust of both Arafat and top Israeli
leaders, which allowed us to play a mediating role
during outbreaks of conflict in the Middle East.
I first set foot in Jerusalem in 1965. This was
before the Six-Day War, and Jerusalem was still
under Jordan's territorial control. I went
to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus shed tears
of blood in prayer just prior to being taken
to the court of Pontius Pilate. I put my hand
on a two-thousand-year-old olive tree that could
have witnessed Jesus' prayer that night.
I drove three nails in that tree, one for Judaism,
one for Christianity, and one for Islam. I prayed
for the day when these three families of faith
would become one. World peace cannot come unless
Judaism, Christianity and Islam become one.
These three nails are still there.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity are sharply
divided against each other in today's world, but
they share a common root. The issue that keeps
them divided is their understanding of Jesus.
To address this problem, on May 13, 2003,
I asked that Christians de-emphasize the cross
in relations among the Abrahamic faiths. Thus,
we enacted a ceremony of taking down the cross.
We brought a cross from America,
a predominently Christian culture, and buried it
in the Field of Blood in Israel. This is
the field that was bought with the thirty
pieces of silver that Judas Iscariot received
for the betrayal of Jesus that resulted in
Later that year, on December 23, some
three thousand Ambassadors for Peace from all
religions, and from the world, joined with
seventeen thousand Israelis and Palestinians
in Jerusalem's Independence Park to
symbolically remove the crown of thorns
from the head of Jesus and replace it with
a crown of peace. They then marched for peace
through Jerusalem. Local authorities granted
permissions and protected our efforts, and
Palestinian and Israeli families supported our
march for peace
by placing a light in front of their homes.
Through that march, which was broadcast live
via the Internet to the entire world,
I proclaimed that Jesus had his authority as
King of Peace restored to him. After centuries
of misunderstanding and division, an opportunity
was created for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
to reconcile with one another.
Al-Aqa Mosque, the third-holiest mosque in
Mecca and Medina, is located in Jerusalem.
It is the spot from which the Prophet Mohammed
is said to have ascended to heaven. Ours was
the only mixed religious group welcomed to all
parts of this house of worship. The mosque
leaders guided the Christian and Jewish leaders
who had participated in the peace march to the
sacred spaces of the mosque. We were able to
open a door that had been closed tightly, and
prepared the way for many Muslim leaders to
communicate at a new level with their
Christian and Jewish brothers and sisters.
Human beings like peace, but they also enjoy
conflict. Human beings will take the most
gentle of animals and make them fight. They
will have roosters fight and peck each other
with their sharp beaks until
pieces of soft flesh begin to fall away.
Then these same people will turn around and
tell their own children
"Don't fight with your friends, Play nice."
The fundamental reason that wars occur is
not religion or race. It is connected to
what lies deep inside human beings.
People like to attribute the causes of
armed conflicts to such things as science
or the economy, but the actual fundamental
problem lies within human beings ourselves.
Religion's role is to turn human beings
toward goodness and eliminate their evil
nature that finds enjoyment in fighting.
Examine the major religions of the world.
They all hold a peaceful world as their ideal.
They all want to see a kingdom of heaven,
utopia, or paradise. Religions have different
names for this ideal, but they all seek such
a world. There are numerous religions in the
world, and virtually everyone is divided into
countless factions and denominations. But
the essential hope for all is the same: They
want the Kingdom of Heaven and a world of
peace. The human heart has been torn to
shreds by the violence and enmity at our core.
The kingdom of love will heal it.
The River Does Not Reject
the Waters That Flow into It
Selfishness is rampant in the world.
Ironically, however, the individual is
destroyed by this, and not just the
individual, but those around him and the
nation as a whole.
The greatest obstacle to the world
of peace is avarice in people's hearts.
It starts in individuals and expands to
the nation, and hearts stained with
avarice cause division and conflict
at every level. Countless people
throughout history have shed their blood
and died in conflicts caused by avarice.
To eliminate such conflicts,
we need a great revolution to change the
erroneous values and thinking that are
widespread in the world today. The complex
problems our societies face today can be
resolved quickly if there is a revolution in
people's thinking. If each individual and
nation begins to look out for the other first,
working together with the other, the problems
of modern society will be resolved.
Througout my life, I have dedicated myself
to efforts for peace. Whenever peace is
discussed, I become emotional. Tears begin
to well up in my eyes, my voice chokes,
and I can hardly swallow. It moves me
deeply just to imagine the day when
the world becomes one and begins to enjoy
peace. That is the nature of peace. It
links people who think differently, are of
different races and speak different languages.
Our hearts yearn for this world and harbor
a hope that it will be realized.
peace comes through concrete action, not
just having a vague dream. But, building
a movement for peace has not always been
easy. There have been many difficulties,
and it has required large sums of money.
I have not done this for my own honor, or
to make money. All I did was invest my
full effort, so that we can have a world
where a strong and true peace takes root.
For as long as I have been doing this work,
I have never been lonely. This is because,
ultimately, peace is the hope of every
person in the world. It is strange though.
wants peace but still it has not come.
It is easy to talk about peace, but to
bring peace is not easy. This is because
people push aside the most elemental truth
needed to bring about a world of peace.
They pretend not to know the truth is
there. Before we talk about peace among
individuals or among nations we must talk
about peace between ourselves and God.
Each religion thinks of itself as
the highest, rejecting and looking down
on other religions. It is not right
to build fences against other religions
A religion is like a wide river flowing
toward an ideal, peaceful world.
The river flows for long distances before
it comes to the wide expanse of peace.
On its way many streams flow into it.
The streams cease to be streams from
the point they meet the river. From that
point, they too, become part of the river.
In this way, they become one.
The river does not reject any of the streams
that flow into it. It accepts them all.
It embraces all the streams and forms a
single flow as it continues toward the ocean.
People in the world today do not understand
this simple truth. The streams that seek out
the river and flow into it are the numerous
religions and denomnations of today. Each
stream traces its origin to a different
spring, but they are all going to the same
destination. They are seeking the ideal
world overflowing with peace.
Peace will never come to this earth unless
we first tear down the walls between
religions. For thousands of years,
religions have grown in alliance with
particular ethnic groups, and so they are
surrounded by high cultural walls.
Tearing these down is an extremely
difficult task. For thousands of years,
each religion has surrounded itself with
such high walls, insisting that it is the
only correct religion. In some cases,
religions have expanded their influence
and entered into conflicts and fights
with other religions, using God's name
that had nothing to do with His will.
The will of God lies in peace. A world
fragmented by differences in nationality,
race and religion, where people attack and
fight one another and shed one another's
blood, is not what God wants. When we
shed blood and fight each other in His
name, we only cause Him pain. A world
torn to shreds has been created out of
the desires of people to promote their own
wealth and glory. It does not represent
the will of God. God clearly told me so.
I am only His errand boy, receiving
His words and carrying them out on earth.
The path to bring about a world of peace,
in which religions and races become united,
has been exhausting.
Many times I was rejected by people, or
my own ability fell short, but I could
not put aside this mission. When members
and colleagues who worked with me would
cry out in anguish because of the
difficulty of the task, I would even feel
envious of them.
"If you decide this path isn't for you, you
have the option to stop and turn back,"
I told them. "Or if you try and try and
still can't accomplish it, you have the
option to die trying. But you should
pity me," I said. "I am a person with
no such options."
There are close to
two hundred countries in the world. For
all these countries to enjoy peace, the
power of religion is absolutely necessary.
The power of religion is in the love that
overflows from it.
I am a religious person whose role is to
convey love, so it is natural that I would
work for world peace.
There is no difference between Islam and
Christianity in their commitment to bring
about a world of peace.
In America, I had a movement for peace,
bringing together thousands of clergy who
Through this movement we discuss ways
that people of all faiths ---
Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists,
etc.---can come together.
We devote our full efforts to change the
hardened hearts of people.
My purpose is the same today as it was
yesterday. It is to create one world
with God at the Center, a world brought
together like a single nation without
boundaries. All humanity will be citizens
of this world, sharing a culture of love.
In such a world, there will be no
possibility for division and conflict.
This will mark the beginning of a truly
"Allow Freedom of Religion
in the Soviet Union"
There are a number of materialism-based
theories that are popularly held but not
verified. One is Charles Darwin's theory
of evolution. Another such theory comes
from the writings of Karl Marx. The idea
that spirit originates from matter is wrong
down to its root. Human beings are created
by God, and all beings are unified bodies
having both material and spiritual aspects.
In short, the core theory and philosophy
underlying communism is wrong.
While studying in Japan, I worked together
with communists for the independence of Korea.
They were my good friends who were prepared
to give their lives, if necessary, for the
liberation of our homeland; but our way of
thinking was fundamentally different. So,
once independence was achieved, we had to go
our separate ways.
I am opposed to the historical materialism
of communism. I have carried out a movement
for victory over communism throughout the
world. I have advised successive U.S.
Presidents to protect the free world,
standing up to the communist strategy of
turning the world red. Communist countries
that are unhappy with my actions attempted
to remove me through acts of violence, but
I do not hate them. Nor do I consider them
my enemy. I oppose the philosophy and
ideology of communism, but I have never hated
its people. God wants all people, including
communists, to be brought into His Oneness.
In that sense, my visit
to Moscow in April, 1990 for a meeting with
Presdient Mikhail Gorbachev and my visit to
Pyongyang the next year for a meeting with
President Kim Il Sung, were not simply journeys;
they were taken at the risk of my life. It was
my destiny to go on these journeys to convey
Heaven's will to these men. I said only
half-jokingly at the time that Moscow,
pronounced in English, sounds similar to
"must go" and so I had to go.
I had a long conviction regarding communism.
I could foresee that the signs pointing to
the fall of communism would begin to appear
after about sixty years
from the Bolshevik Revolution, and that
the Soviet edifice would fall in 1987, the
seventieth anniversary of the revolution.
So I was excited in 1984 when I heard that
Dr. Morton Kaplan, a noted political scientist
at the university of Chicago, was proposing to
hold an international conference titled
"The Fall of the Soviet Empire." I asked him
to pay me a visit in Danbury prison so that
we could discuss the details. The first thing
that I said to him when we met was that
I wanted him to declare "the end of Soviet
communism" before August 15 of that year.
Dr. Kaplan responded. "Declare the end of
Soviet communism? How can I do such a risky
thing?" and indicated he was not inclined
to do this. In 1985 when the conference was
about to take place, the Soviet Union was
increasing its worldwide influence, and
there were no outward signs of its decline. But,
it's the final flame that burns the brightest.
So it was natural that Dr. Kaplan be reluctant.
If he made a declaration predicting such a
specific event and it turned out to be false,
his reputation as a scholar could be destroyed
"Reverend Moon," he said, "I believe you
when you say that Soviet communism will fall.
But I don't think it will happen just yet.
So instead of declaring
'the end of Soviet communism,' how about if
we say 'the decline of Soviet communism?"
I burned with anger when I saw that he was
proposing to soften the title to something
other than "The End of the Soviet Empire."
It was a compromise I could not accept.
I felt strongly that if a person has conviction,
he should be brave and put all his energy into
the fight, even if he feels afraid.
"Dr. Kaplan," I said, "What do you mean?
When I ask you to declare the end of communism,
I have a reason. The day you declare the end
of communism, that declaration itself will
take energy away from it and help bring about
its peaceful collapse. Why are you hesitating?"
In the end, Dr. Kaplan did indeed declare
"the end of Soviet communism" at a conference
of the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA)
held in Geneva under the title, "The Fall of
the Soviet Empire: Prospects for Transition
to a Post-Soviet World." It was something
that no one had dared consider up until
Because Switzerland was a neutral country,
Geneva was a major staging area for the Soviet
Committee for State Security (KGB), and many KGB
agents worked from there to carry out espionage
and terror activities around the world. The
Intercontinental Hotel, where the PWPA conference
was held, faced the Soviet Embassy across the
street, so I can well imagine how nervous
Dr. Kaplan must have felt. A few years later,
however, he became well known as the scholar who
first predicted the end of Soviet communism.
In April 1990, I convened
the World Media Conference held in Moscow.
Unexpectedly, the Soviet government gave me
head-of-state-level protocol, beginning at the
airport. We were transported to the center
of Moscow in a police-escorted motorcade.
The car that carried me traveled on the
yellow section of the road, which was used
only by the President and state guests. This
happened before the collapse of the Soviet
Union. The Soviet government afforded this
exceptional treatment to me, an anticommunist.
At the conference, I gave an address
praising the move toward perestroika. I said
this revolution must be bloodless and that
it must be a revolution of the mind and spirit.
The purpose of my visit was to attend the
World Media Conference, but my mind was focused
on meeting President Gorbachev.
At the time, President Gorbachev was popular
within the Soviet Union, following the
successes of his perestroika policies. Over
the years, I have been able to meet with many
U.S. presidents, but meeting President
Gorbachev was much more difficult. I was
concerned that even one meeting might be
difficult to achieve. I had a message
to give him, and it was important that
I do this in person. He was reforming the
Soviet Union, giving rise to the winds of
freedom there, but as time passed, the swords
of reform were being increasingly pointed
at his back. If the situation were left
unchecked, he would fall into great danger.
I explained, "If he does not meet me, he
has no way to catch the wave of
heavenly fortune, and if he cannot do that,
he will not last long.
Perhaps President Gorbachev heard this
expression of my concern. The next day, he
invited me to the Kremlin. I rode in
a limousine provided by the Soviet
government and entered deep into the Kremlin.
On entering the presidential office, my wife
and I took our seats, and Cabinet ministers
of the Soviet Union took seats next to us.
President Gorbachev smiled a big smile
and gave us an energetic explanation of
the successes of his perestroika policies.
Then he showed me into an anteroom, where
we met one on one. I used this opportunity
to give him the following message:
"Mr. President, you have already achieved
much success through perestroika, but
that alone will not be sufficient
for reform. You need immediately to allow
freedom of religion in the Soviet Union.
If you try to reform
only the material world, without the
involvement of God, perestroika will be
doomed to fail. Communism is about to end.
The only way to save this nation is to
allow the freedom of religion. The time
is now for you to act with the courage
that you have shown in reforming the Soviet
Union and become a president who works
to bring about world peace."
President Gorbachev's face hardened at
the mention of religious freedom, as though
he had not been expecting this. As one
would expect from the man who had
allowed the reunification of Germany a few
months earlier, however, he quickly
relaxed his expression and soberly accepted
my words to him. I continued, saying, "South
Korea and the Soviet Union should now open
diplomatic relations. In that context, please
invite South Korean President Roh Tae Woo
to visit." I also explained a list of
reasons why it would be good for the two
countries to have diplomatic relations.
After I had finished all I wanted to say,
President Gorbachev made a promise to me
with a tone of certitude that I had not
heard him express prior to that point.
"I am confident," he said, "that relations
between South Korea and the Soviet Union
will develop smoothly.
I, too, believe that political stability
and the relaxation of tensions on the
Korean peninsula are necessary. Opening
diplomatic relations with South Korea
is only a matter of time; there are no
obstacles. As you suggested, I will meet
President Roh Tae Woo."
As I was about to leave President Gorbachev
that day, I took off my watch and put it on
his wrist. He seemed a little bewildered
that I might treat him as I would an old
friend. So I told him firmly, "Each time
your reforms face difficulty, please look
at this watch and remember your promise
to me. If you do that,
Heaven will surely open a path for you."
As he promised me, President Gorbachev
met President Roh in San Francisco in June
that year for a bilateral summit. Then,
on September 30, 1990, South Korea and the
Soviet Union signed a historic agreement to
open diplomatic relations for the first time
in eighty years.
Of course, politics is the job
of politicians, and diplomacy is the job of
diplomats. Sometimes, though, when a door
has been closed for a long time,
a religious person who has no self-serving
interests at stake can be more effective.
Four years later, President and Mrs.
Gorbachev visited Seoul, and my wife and I
hosted them at our residence in Hannam-Dong.
He had already been removed from power by
a coup d'etat. Following the coup by anti-
reformist forces opposed to perestroika,
he had resigned his position as general
secretary of the Communist Party
and dissolved the party. As a Communist
he had eliminated the Communist Party.
The former president and first lady used
chopsticks to eat the bulgogi
(a deliciously seasoned, grilled beef) and
jabchae (made from noodles and vegetables)
we had carefully prepared.
When he was served sujeonggwa, (a sweet,
refreshing, cold persimmon drink) as desert,
Mr. Gorbachev repeated several times,
"Korea has excellent traditional foods."
He and the first lady appeared relaxed and
quite different from the tense days when
he was in office. Mrs. Gorbachev, who had
previously been a thorough-going Marxist-
Leninist lecturing at Moscow State University
wore a necklace with a crucifix.
"Mr. President, you did a great thing."
I told him. "You gave up your post as
general secretary of the Soviet Communist
Party, but now you have become the
president of peace. Because of your wisdom
and courage, we now have the possibility
to bring world peace. You did the most
important, eternal, and beautiful thing
for the world. You are a hero of peace who
did God's work. The name that will be
remembered and honored forever in the
history of Russia will not be 'Marx', 'Lenin,'
or 'Stalin.' It will be 'Mikail Gorbachev'."
I gave such high praise to the decision by
Mr. Gorbachev to bring about the breakup
of the Soviet Union, the mother country of
communism, without shedding blood.
In response, Mr. Gorbachev said,
"Reverend Moon, I have been greatly
comforted by your words. Hearing your words
gives me energy. I will devote the
remainder of my life to projects that are
for the sake of world peace." And he firmly
took my hand in his.
Korea's Unification Will
Bring World Unification
As I was coming out of the Kremlin
after meeting Mr. Gorbachev, I turned to
Bo Hi Pak, who had accompanied me, and
gave him a special instruction.
"I need to meet President Kim Il Sung
before the end of 1991," I told him.
"There's no time. The Soviet Union is
going to end in the next year or two.
Our country is now the problem.
Somehow, I need to meet President Kim
and prevent war from occurring on the
I knew that
when the Soviet Union collapsed, most
other communist regimes in the world
would also fall. North Korea would
find itself forced into a corner, and
there was no telling what provocation
it might commit. North Korea's obsession
with nuclear weapons
made the situation even more worrisome.
To prevent a war with North Korea,
we needed a channel to talk to its
leadership, but we had no such channel
at that point. Somehow, I needed to meet
President Kim and receive his commitment
not to strike first against South Korea.
The Korean peninsula
is a microcosm of the world. If blood were
shed on the Korean peninsula, it would be shed
in the world. If reconciliation occurred on
the peninsula, there would be reconciliation
in the world. If the peninsula were unified,
this would bring about unification in the
world. Beginning in the late 1980's,
however, North Korea had been working hard to
become a country processing nuclear weapons.
Western countries were saying that they would
stage a first strike against North Korea, if
necessary. If the situation continued to the
extreme, there was no telling what desperate
move North Korea might attempt. I knew
I somehow needed to open
a channel of communication with North Korea.
It was not an easy task. Bo Hi Pak
communicated with North Korean Vice Premier
Kim Dal Hyun, but North Korea's response
was firmly negative.
"The people of North Korea know President Moon
only a the ring-leader of the international
movement for victory over communism,"
the vice premier said, "Why would we welcome
the leader of a conservative, anticommunist
group? A visit to NOrth Korea by Cairman Moon
absolutely cannot be permitted."
Bo Hi Pak did not give up. "President Nixon
of the United States
was a strong anticommunist," he reminded the
North Korean official. "But he visited China,
met Chairman Mao Zedong, and opened diplomatic
relations between the United States and China.
It was China that profited from this. Until
then, China had been branded an aggressor
nation, but it is now rising as the central
country of the world stage. For North Korea
to have international credibility, it should
establish friendship with a worldwide
anticommunist such as Chairman Moon."
Finally, President Kim Il Sung invited
my wife and me on November 30, 1991.
We were in Hawaii at the time, so we quickly
flew to Beijing. While we were waiting
in the VIP lounge of Beijing Capital
International Airport, which the government
of China had arranged for us to use, a
representative of the North Korean government
came and handed us the official invitation.
The official stamp of the Pyongyang government
was clearly visible on the document.
"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea
extends an invitation to Chairman
Moon Sun Myung
of the Federation for World Peace, his
wife and entourage to enter the Republic.
Their safety is guaranteed during the period
of their stay in the North."
It was signed "Kyun Dal Hyun, Vice Premier,
Cabinet of the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea. November 30, 1991."
Our group boarded a special flight,
Air Koryo 215, arranged for us by President
Kim. A special flight from President Kim
had never been arranged for any foreign
head of state, so this was
very exceptional and special treatment.
The aircraft flew over the Yellow Sea,
up to Sineuiju, over my hometown of Jeongju,
and on to Pyongyang. I was informed that
the special route had been chartered to
let me see my hometown. My heart began
to pound as I looked down at my hometown,
dyed red by the light of the setting sun,
and I felt numb deep in my being.
I wondered, "Can this really
be my hometown?" I wanted to jump out
right away and start running around the
hills and valleys.
At Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport,
family members whom I had not seen for
forty-eight years were there to greet me.
My younger sisters, who used to be as
beautiful as flowers, had become
grandmothers entering their senior years.
They grasped my hands, creased
their eyebrows, and began to cry wildly.
My older sister, now more than seventy,
grabbed me by the shoulder and cried. I,
however, did not cry.
"Please," I said, "don't do this. It's
important for me to meet my family, but
I came to do God's work. Please
don't do this. Get hold of yourselves."
Inside my heart I was shedding tears like
a waterfall. I was seeing my sisters for the
first time in more than forty years, but
I could not embrace them and cry with them.
I maintained control of my heart,
and made my way to our place of lodging.
The next morning, as has been my custom
throughout my life, I awoke early
in the morning and began to pray. If there
were any surveillance apparatus
in the guesthouse, my tearful prayer for
the unification of the Korean peninsula
would have been recorded in its entirety.
That day, we toured the city of Pyongyang.
The city was well fortified with the red
slogans of Kim Il Sung's Juche ideology.
On the third day of our visit, we boarded
an aircraft to tour Mount Kumgang. Though
it was the winter season, the Kuryong Falls
had not frozen and still spouted a strong
flow of water. After touring all the
different areas of Mount Kumgang, we boarded
a helicopter on our sixth day to be
transported to my hometown.
In my dreams, I had felt such a strong
yearning for my childhood home
that I felt as though I could run to it
in one bound. And now, there it was,
appearing before me. I could hardly
believe my eyes. Was this real,
or was I dreaming? For what seemed like
the longest time, I could only stand there
like a statue, in front of my home.
After several minutes, I stepped inside.
It used to be in the shape of a hollow
square, with the main wing, guest wing,
storehouse, and barn built around
a central courtyard. Now, only the main
wing remained. I went into the main room,
where I had been born, and sat on the floor
with my legs crossed. Memories of what it had
been like in my childhood came back to me
clearly as if it were only yesterday.
I opened the small door that led from the
main room to the kitchen and looked out
at the backyard. The chestnut tree
I used to climb had been cut down and
was gone. It seemed as though I could hear
my mother calling to me sweetly. "Is my
little tiny eyes hungry?" The cotton cloth
of her traditional dress passed quickly
before my eyes.
I visited my parents' grave site
and offered a bouquet of flowers. The last
time I saw my mother was when she came
to visit me in prison in Heungnam and cried
out loud. Her grave was thinly covered
by the snow that had fallen the night before.
I brushed it away with the palm of my hand
and gently caressed the grass that had grown
over her grave. The rough touch of the grass
reminded me of the roughness of my mother's
skin on the back of her hand.
My Meeting with
President Kim Il Sung
I had not gone to North Korea because
I wanted to see my hometown nor because
I wanted to tour Mount Kumgang. I wanted
to meet President Kim Il Sung and have
a serious discussion on the future of our
homeland. Yet, six days into my visit,
there was no word on whether a meeting with
President Kim could be arranged. When we
arrived back at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport by
helicopter after visiting my hometown, however,
I found that Vice Premier Kim Dal Hyun
had unexpectedly come to meet me.
"The Great Leader Kim Il Sung
will receive you tomorrow," he told me.
"The place will be the Majeon Presidential
Residence in Heungnam, so you will need to
board a special flight immediately
and go to Heungnam?"
I thought to myself, "They say he has
many presidential residences. Why, of all
On my way, I noticed a large sign for
the Heungnam Nitrogen Fertilizer Factory,
where I had been forced to labor. It
reminded me of my time in prion and gave me
an odd feeling. I spent the night in
a guesthouse and went the next day
to meet the president.
As I approached the official residence,
I found President Kim at the entrance,
waiting to greet me. The two of us
simultaneously embraced each other.
I was an anticommunist and he was
the leader of a communist party, but
ideology and philosophies were not
important in the context of our meeting.
We were like brothers who were meeting
for the first time after a long separation.
This was the power of belonging to
the same people and sharing the same blood.
Right at the onset, I said to him,
"Mr. President, because of you warm
consideration, I have been able to meet
my family. There are, however,
ten million Koreans who are members of
families separated between North and South,
and they are unable even to know whether
their relatives on the other side are alive
or dead. I would like to ask you to grant
them the opportunity to meet each other."
I spent a little more time telling him
about my visit to my hometown and appealed
to his love for the Korean people. He and I
spoke the same dialect, so we were at ease
with one another.
President Kim responded, "I feel
the same way. From next year, let's begin
a movement that allows separated compatriots
of North and South to meet one another."
His acceptance of my proposal was
as natural as the snow melting in spring.
After speaking of my visit to Jeongju,
I moved on to my views on nuclear weapons.
I respectfully proposed that North Korea
agree to a declaration
on the de-nuclearization of the Korean
peninsula and sign a safeguards agreement
with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He responded with candor,
"Think for a moment. Who am I going to kill by
making nuclear weapons? Kill my own people?
Do I look like that kind of person?
I agree that nuclear weapons should be used
only for peaceful purposes. I have listened
attentively to what you have to say, and
I expect it will be all right."
At that time, North-South relations
were at a difficult point over the issue
of nuclear inspections in North Korea, and
so I had made my proposal with some
reluctance. Everyone present, however,
was surprised that President Kim responded
in such a pleasant tone. At this point,
we adjourned our meeting to a dining room,
where we took an early lunch.
"Are you familiar
with frozen potato noodles?" he asked.
"It's a dish I ate quite often when I was
active as a partisan on Mount Baekdu.
Please try some."
Well, of course I know it," I said,
responding to his words with delight.
We used to enjoy this dish in my hometown."
"Well, I'm sure in your hometown you ate it
as a delicacy," he continued "But we ate it
to survive. The Japanese police used to
search for us all the way to the top
of Mount Baekdu. We didn't have a chance
to sit down to a decent meal. What else
is there at the top of Mount Baekdu other
"We would start to boil some potatoes,
and the Japanese police came after us,
we would bury the potatoes in the ground
and run away. It would be so cold that,
by the time we got back, the potatoes
would be frozen solid in the ground.
The only thing we could do was
dig up the potatoes, thaw them, and then
turn them into powder, so we could
make noodles out of them."
"Mr. President," I said, "you are
an expert on frozen potato noodles."
That's right. They taste good mixed
in bean soup, and they also taste very good
if you eat them in sesame soup. It's a dish
that is easy on the digestion, and
because potatoes have a tendency
to stick together, it is very filling.
"Also, Chairman Moon," he continued,
"it tastes really good if you do
like they do in Heungnam Province and
take some mustard leaf kimchi, like this,
and put it over the noodles.
You should try it."
I did as he suggested and ate
my frozen potato noodles with some
mustard leaf kimchi over them.
The tasty flavor of the noodles
matched well the spicy kimchi and
left my stomach feeling light.
"There are many delicacies in the world,
President Kim said. "I'm not interested
in any of those. There's nothing better
than the potato cakes, corn and
sweet potatoes that I used to eat
in my hometown."
"You and I even share similar tastes
in food," I said. "it's good that
people who share the same homeland can
meet like this."
"How was it when you visited your hometown,"
he asked me. "I was filled with many emotions,"
I said. "The home where I lived was still
there, and I sat in the main room to think
about the past. I almost expected to hear
the voice of my late mother,
calling me. It was a emotional feeling."
"I see," he said. "It shows that our country
needs to be unified immediately. I hear
that when you were young, you were quite
mischievous. Did you have a chance to
run around while you were there this time?"
Everyone at the table
laughed at the president's comment.
"I wanted to climb a tree and go fishing,"
I said, "but I heard that you were waiting
for me, so I quickly came here. I hope
you will invite me to come again sometime."
"Well, of course, of course I will.
Chairman Moon, do you like to hunt?
I like hunting very much. I think
if you go bear hunting on Mount Baekdu,
you will enjoy it very much. Bears
have big bodies and look uncoordinated,
but they are actually very nimble.
"I once came face to face with a bear,"
he continued. "The bear looked at me
and didn't move a muscle. If I had started
to run, you know what would have happened,
don't you? So what was I going to do?
I stared right back at him and
just stood there. One hour passed, then
two hours, three hours. But the bear
just kept staring at me. You know how
Mount Baekdu is famous for being cold.
I was afraid I might freeze to death
before the bear ate me."
"So what happened?" I asked.
"Well, Chairman Moon, do you see the bear
sitting here, or do you see me?"
I laughed out loud, and President Kim
immediately followed with a suggestion.
"Chairman Moon," he said, "the next time
you come, let's go hunting together
on Mount Baekdu."
I responded quickly with my own invitation.
"You like to fish, don't you?
On Kodiak Island in Alaska, you can catch
halibut that are as big as bears. Let's
go fished for those sometime."
"Halibut as big as bears? Well, I definitely
will have to go."
The two of us were able to communicate well
about our shared hobbies of hunting and
fishing. At one point, we each felt
we had so much to say to the other that
we just started talking like old friends
meeting after a long separation.
Our laughter echoed around the dining room.
I also talked about Mount Kumgang.
"I went to Mount Kumgang, and it really is
a beautiful mountain," I said. "It needs
to be developed as a tourism destination
for our people."
"Mount Kumgang will be an asset to
our unified homeland," he said. "So
I have made sure that only certain people
can touch it. If it's developed
in the wrong way, it could be ruined.
You have an international eye, and
I could trust someone like you
to take it over and develop it for us"
President Kim went so far
as to ask that we consider
developing Mount Kumgang together.
"My President," I said, "you are older
than I, so you are like my older brother,"
and he grasped my hand tightly.
He and I held each other's hand as we walked
down the hallway and took commemorative
photographs. Then I left the residence.
After I had gone, I was told that
President Kim told his son, Kim Jong Il,
"Chairman Moon is a great man.
I have met many people in my life, but
none were like him.
He has a broad scale of thinking, and he
overflows with heart. I felt close to him.
It made me feel good to be with him,
and I wanted him to stay for a long time.
I want to meet him again. After I die,
if there are things to discuss pertaining
to North-South relations, you must always
seek the advice of Chairman Moon."
So it seemed
that we had communicated very well.
Soon after I ended my week-long stay and
left Pyongyang, Prime Minister Hyung Muk Yeon
led a North Korean delegation to Seoul.
Prime Minister Yeon signed an agreement
to de-nuclearize the Korean peninsula.
On January 30 of the following year,
North Korea signed a nuclear safeguards
agreement with the International Atomic
Energy Agency, thus fulfilling
the commitments that President Kim
had made to me. There is more work to do,
but these were the results
I accomplished by going to Pyongyang
at the risk of my life.
The Land May Be Divided,
but Not Its People
The Korean peninsula is one of the last
remaining divided countries on earth.
We have the responsibility to unify
the peninsula. We cannot pass a divided
homeland on to our descendants. It is
impermissible that a single people should be
divided and for peace-loving people to be
unable to see their parents or siblings.
The line that divides North and South Korea
was drawn by human beings. Land can be
divided in that way, but not people.
That we do not forget each other
and continue to yearn for each other
even after some sixty years of separation
shows that we are one people.
The Korean People were traditionally known
as "people of white clothing," because of
the color of our traditional clothes.
White is the symbol of peace,
and our people are people of peace.
During the time of the Japanese occupation,
Koreans, Chinese and Japanese
lived in Manchuria and Siberia, sometimes
helping each other and at other times
killing each other. Throughout that time,
Koreans never carried swords or knives
as did the Japanese and Chinese. Instead,
we carried flint rocks. Lighting fires
in the frozen land of Manchuria and Siberia
was a way of protecting life.
This is the kind of people we are. We
respect Heaven, uphold moral principles
and love peace. Our people shed much blood
during the time of the Japanese occupation
and the Korean War. This, however, did not
bring about the unification of our country
or the establishment of a sovereignty of
peace. Our country was broken at the waist
into two pieces,
and half became a dark world of communism.
We need unification
to restore the sovereignty of our people.
We must end the division between North and
South so we can have peace. Only after we
first accomplish peaceful unification and
restore our sovereignty can we bring peace
to the world.
The Korean people were created to bring
peace to the world. Everything has a name,
and names have meaning. Our traditional white
garments are easy to see both day and night.
White is good to use for signs during the night
because it is easy to see in the dark.
In the same way, our people are destined
to convey messages of peace aroud the world,
both day and night.
North and South are divided by
a ceasefire line, but this is not the problem.
Once we remove that line, we will find
an even larger barrier between us and Russia
and China. For our people to enjoy true peace,
we will need to overcome those ceasefire lines
as well. It will be difficult but not impossible.
The important thing is our own attitude.
I believe that when a person sweats, he should
sweat every last drop that he has in him.
He should sweat even the last little bit
that is in his heart. That way,
he will have no regrets, and everything
will become clean and set in order. The same
is true when we attempt anything difficult.
The difficulty will end only when you have
gained victory at every stage, and everything
has been made clear. Whatever you are
dealing with needs to be completely put
in order. Then it can bear fruit. We cannot
restore our people's full sovereignty without
going through such tearful difficulties.
Today, many people talk about unification.
I, however, spoke about this at a time when
people did not dare even use the phrase
for fear of being charged with violating the
Anti-communist Law and the National Security
Law. Today, when people ask me what must be
done to bring about unification, I tell them
what I have always said on this matter, "If
South Korea love North Koreans more than they
love the South, and North Koreans love South
Korea more than they love the North,
we could unify the peninsula today!"
I was able to risk my life
to go to North Korea in 1991 and meet
President Kim because I had a foundation of
such love within me.
I made agreements then with him regarding
meetings of separated families, North-South
economic cooperation, development of Mount
Kumgang, de-nuclearization of the Korean
peninsula, and working toward a North-South
summit conference. No one thought
an anti-communist could go to a communist
country and open the floodgate of unification,
but I surprized the world.
Before my meeting with President Kim,
I delivered a two-hour address titled,
"Blood Is Thicker than Water,"
at the Mansudae Assembly Hall, seat of the
Supreme People's Assembly, North Korea's
legislature. I spoke that day to the
leadership of North Korea, who were armed
with Kim Il Sung's philosophy, and
told them exactly what I believed.
"North and South must be unified," I said,
"but guns and swords will not make us one.
North-South unification will not happen
with military force. Even the Korean War
failed in this respect, and it is foolish
for anyone to think they can make another
attempt through military force. Neither will
unification happen with the Juche ideology
that you espouse. What will do it then?
The world does not operate only by the power
of human beings. Because God exists, nothing
can be done by human effort alone. Even in
situations of evil, such as war,
God carries out His providence. This is why
North and South cannot be unitied through the
Juche ideology that puts man at the center.
"Bringing about a unified homeland can
be done only with Godism," I continued. "God
is protecting us, and our time of unification
is coming. Unification is the destiny; it is
the task that must be accomplished in our era.
If we cannot accomplish the sacred task of
unifying the homeland in our time, we will not
be able to hold our heads high in the presence
of our ancestors or our descendants
for the rest of eternity.
"What is Godism?
It is the practice of God's perfect love.
Neither the right wing nor the left wing
can unify North and South.
It will be possible only when there is
a 'headwing thought'
that is able to harmonize these two.
"To travel the path of love, you must
apologize before the world for your invasion
of the South. I undertand that North Korea
has planted twenty-thousand
resident espionage agents in the South.
Send an order immediately to all of them,
instructing them to turn themselves in
to the South Korean authorities. If you
do that, I will give them an education
that will rectify their ideology and turn
them into patriots who will contribute to
the peaceful unification of North and South."
on the table in front of me as I spoke.
The expressions of Mr Yun Ki Bok and
Vice Premier Kim Dal Hyun grew tense. I was
aware of what dangers I might be exposed to
for making such statements, but I needed to
say what I had come to say. I was not
simply trying to shock the audience. I knew
that my speech would be reported immediately,
word for word, to President Kim and his son,
Chairman Kim Jong Il.
So I wanted to state my purpose clearly.
When I finished, some of the North Koreans
present even protested, demanding to know how
I could dare to speak in such a manner.
I looked at my entourage
and saw that their faces were white. Our
members who were with me told me: "The speech
had a very strong tone, and the atmosphere
of the audience was not good."
I was adamant, however,
"Why did I come here?" I asked them.
"I didn't come to see the land of Korea.
If I were to leave here without saying what
needed to be said, Heaven would punish me.
Even if today's speech is used by them as an
excuse to deny me a meeting with President Kim
and to expel us from the country,
I still needed to say what I came to say."
On July 8, 1994, President Kim suddenly died.
His death came when North-South relations
were at an all-time low. Patriot missiles
had been destroyed on South Korean soil,
and hawks in the United States advocated the
destruction of nuclear facilities in Yeongbyuon.
It appeared that war might break out
at any time. North Korea announced
it would not receive any mourners from outside
the country, but I felt it was important
we send someone. I wanted to fulfill my
obligation, as I had formed a brotherly
relationship with President Kim.
I called Bo Hi Pak. "God immediately to
North Korea as my repreentative to mourn
President Kim's death." I said.
can get into North Korea now," he said.
"I know it's difficult, but somehow
you have to go. I don't care if you have to
swim across the Yalu River. Get in there
and convey my condolences."
Bo Hi Pak first traveled to Beijing
and risked his life to communicate with
North Korea. Then Chairman Kim Jong Il
gave the instruction, "An exception will be
made for a mourning representative from
Chairman Moon. Escort him to Pyongyang."
After condolences had been expressed,
Chairmen Kim Jong Il met with Bo Hi Pak
and politely greeted him, saying,
"My father always said that Chairman Moon
was working hard for the unification of our
homeland. I am glad you came."
In 1994, the Korean peninsula
was in such a crisis that it could have
exploded at any time. In that moment, we
were able to resolve the nuclear crisis on
the Korean peninsula
because of the relationship I had formed
with President Kim Il Sung. Sending
a respresentative to express my condolences
was not a simple matter of mourning.
I described my meeting with President Kim
in considerable detail to illustrate
my point about the importance of faith and
loyalty between two people. I met him for
the sake of the peaceful unification of our
homeland. I was able to convey my concerns
for the destiny of our people with faith
and loyalty. As a result, after his death,
his son, Chairman Kim Jong Il, accepted our
mourning representative. There is no wall
that cannot be scaled and no dream that
cannot be realized when we share our love
with a sincere heart.
When I went to North Korea, I thought of it
as my homeland and the home of my brother.
I didn't go there with a desire
to get something from them. I went with
the purpose to share with them my heart
of love. The power of love touched not only
President Kim Il Sung but also his son,
Chairman Kim Jong Il. Since then, and
continuing to this day we have maintained
a special relationship with North Korea.
Each time North-South relations become
difficult, we have played a role in opening
the gateway. It is all based on the fact
that I met with President Kim Il Sung,
conveyed to him my sincere heart,
and built a relationsip of trust with him.
That is the importance of trust.
Following my meeting with President Kim,
we now operate the Pyeonghwa Motors plant,
the Potonggang Hotel, and
the World Peace Center in North Korea.
There are billboards for Pyeonghwa Motors
around Pyongyang. When the South Korean
president visited North Korea, North Korean
officials took him to the Pyeonghwa Motors
plant. South Korean business leaders
who accompanied the president stayed at the
Potonggang Hotel. Non-North Korean members
of our church who work in North Korea
gather at the World Peace Center each Sunday
for worship service.
All of these projects are efforts
for the sake of peaceful exchanges and
unification of North and South. They are not
being done to make a profit. They are
efforts to contriute to the unification of
North and South as an expression of love
for the Korean people.
Not by Guns or Swords,
but by True Love
It is not just the ceasefire line
that divides our people. The Yongnam
and Honam regions are also divided by
an invisible line. Also, Koreans who live
in Japan are divided between
the Korean Residence Union in Japan,
or Mindan, who are pro-South Korea,
and the General Association of Korean
Residents in Japan, or Chongryon, who are
pro-North Korea. The conflict between the two
organizations in Japan is based on
the hometowns of their respective members.
Second and third-generation Korean residents
in Japan, who have never been to their
parents' hometowns, still live in conflict
with each other, as they live within the
lines drawn by their parents. The members
of the two orgaizations use slightly
different language, send thier children to
different schools, and do not intermarry.
In 2005, I put into effect
my long-cherished plan to create oneness
among Koreans in Japan, as well as among
Koreans in the Youngnam and Honam regions.
I invited one thousand members of Mindan
and one thousand members of Chongryon
to Seoul, and matched them in sisterhood
and brotherhood relationships to
one thousand people from Youngnam region
and one thousand people from Honam region.
It is next to impossible for Chongryon
and Mindan to sit down together in Japan
and talk about the peaceful unification of
North and South. The task of gathering
these people in one place was difficult,
but it was deeply moving for me to see them
sitting together and embracing each other.
One Chongryon official at the event was
visiting Seoul for the fist time. He spoke
in tears as he commented that he deeply
regreted the many years he had spent
fighting a war that was not his own,
particularly as he was not even certain
which part of the peninsula his father
actually came from. He said he felt
immeasurably ashamed for
having lived his life with a meaningless
line of division drawn in his heart.
To fully understand the division of
the Korean peninsula and the conflict
between the two sides, we must be able
to look comprehensively at the past,
present and future. Every incident has
a root cause. The division of the
Korean peninsula was created by the
history of struggle between good and evil.
When the Korean War broke out, the
Soviet Union, China and other communist
countries came to the aid of North Korea.
In a similar way, sixteen countries, led
by the United States, sent armed forces
to the aid of South Korea. Also, five
countries sent medical teams, and
twenty nations provided war supplies.
What other war in history involved so many
countries in the fighting? The reason
that the entire world became involved in
a war that took place in the tiny country of
Korea is that this was a proxy war between
the forces of communism and the forces
of freedom. It could be said that Korea
came to represent the world, and that good
and evil fought fiercely on its soil.
Retired general and former U.S. Secretary
of State the late Alexander Haig made an
unexpected statement in his congratulatory
remarks at the tenth Anniversary of
The Washington Times, celebrated in 1992.
"I am a veteran of the Korean War," he said.
"As a commander, I was in charge of
the attack against Heungnam, and we staged
the strongest attack we could.
I am deeply moved to hear that
Rev. Moon was being held by the communists
and was set free by that day's attack.
It seems I was sent there to free
Reverend Moon. Now, Reverend Moon is
here to save America.
The Washington Times is a newspaper that
will save America by providing a balanced
view of history that is neither right or
left, and show us the way forward.
As we see, there is
no such thing as coincidence in history."
A few years ago in Korea, there were people
making the argument that
the famous statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur
in an Incheon park should be removed. If
United States forces had not joined the war
effort, the country would not be divided
between North and South, as it is today,
this argument went. I was shocked to hear
this, and spoke strongly against it.
Such an argument can only be made
from the position of the Communist Party
of North Korea.
Great sacrifices were made
on a global level, and yet the peninsula
remains divided. We do not know
the exact date when unification will come,
but it is clear that we are making
strong strides in that direction.
There are many obstacles to be overcome
on the road to unification. As we come
face to face with each obstacle, we need
to work to tear it down and then move on.
Though it may take a long time and prove
difficult, unification will absolutely come
if we work with the same desperation
we would have if we were swimming across
the Yalu River.
Following the breakup of the Soviet Union,
Romania resisted change the longest
among the communist countries of Central
and Eastern Europe. Then,
at the end of 1989, Romania experienced
a bloody uprising by its people.
As soon as the regime was toppled, Nicolae
Ceaucescu, who had ruled the country for
twenty-four years, was executed, along with
his wife. He was a brutal dictator who
mercilessly massacred those who opposed his
policies. In any country, one reason
a dictator will tend to tighten his grip is
that he fears for his life in the event he
may lose power. I think that if a dictator
can be certain that his own life will not be
placed in danger, he will not go headlong down
a dead end street in the manner of Ceausescu.
Our country, too, will be unified before long
by one means or another. So politicians and
economists need to make the necessary
preparations in their own fields of expertise.
As a religious person, I will work hard
to prepare to greet
the Unified Korea in which we can embrace
North Korean people with love and share in
a common peace.
I have studied the unification of Germany
for a long time. I have listened to the
experiences of those who were involved with
regard to how it was that unification could
come without a single bullet being fired
or a single drop of blood being spilled.
In so doing, my hope
has been to find a way that is appropriate
for Korea. I have learned that the main
reason Germany could be unified peacefully
was that East German leaders were made to
understand that their lives would not be
in danger following unification. If East
German leaders had not believed this would
be so, they would not have allowed
unification to occur so easily.
I came to believe we need to have a
similar understanding toward rulers of
North Korea. A novel based on North Korea
was published in Japan not long ago.
In this book of fiction, the rulers of
North Korea repeatedly watch a video of
Ceausescu's execution and cry out, "That
is what will happen to us if we lose power.
Under no circumstances can we lose our hold
Of course, that is only a novel published
in Japan. We hould, however, devote our
attention to this real problem and find a
solution for North Korean leaders,
to bring about a speedy unification.
Building a world of peace on the Korean
peninsula is not as difficult as we may think.
When South Korea lives fully for the sake
of North Korea, North Korea
will not try to fight the South, and peace
will come naturally to the peninsula.
The power that can move a rebellious child
is not the fist or brute power.
It is the power of love that wells up
naturally from within the heart. More than
rice or fertilizer, it is important
for us to give love to North Korea. We must
never forget that it is only when we
consider North Korea's situation and live
for its sake with a loving and sincere heart
that the North will open its heart to us
and the world.
(end of Chapter Six)