As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 54
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 6: Love Will Bring Unification
The Land May Be Divided, but Not Its People, pg 194-198
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 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 by 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 around 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 it is 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're 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 peaceful unification. I, however, spoke about this at a time when people did not dare even use the phrase “peaceful unification” 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 Koreans love North Korea 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 towards a North-South summit conference. No one thought an anticommunist could go to a communist country and open the floodgate of unification, but I surprised 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 about a way to unify North and South through love. I stood before 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. That is why North and South cannot be unified 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 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 understand 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.”
I pounded 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 North 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 deployed on South Korean soil, and hawks in the United States advocated the destruction of nuclear facilities in Yeongbyon. 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. “Go immediately to North Korea as my representative to mourn President Kim’s death.” I said.
“No one 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, Chairman 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 representative 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 relationship 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 contribute to the unification of North and South as an expression of love for the Korean people.