Mother of Peace: Episode 37
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 6: Creating the Road to One World, pg 177-182
CHAPTER 6 Creating The Road To One World
One street, one global neighborhood
On the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, there is a small port city named Karatsu. This city on the shores of the Korea Strait is famous for the pottery that bears its name. Karatsu
pottery was originally created by Korean potters. During the 1980s, key members visited this city several times on our behalf to develop an international project. Karatsu was the launching site for an initiative that my husband had announced at our International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences in the autumn of 1981—the construction of an international peace highway circumscribing the globe.
The vision is for a high-speed transportation artery linking the entire globe. On the day of its completion, much of our world will become one village linked by one road. The process of constructing the highway itself provides the world’s peoples and governments a common purpose. The transnational lines of commerce and recreation that open up will stimulate inter-ethnic exchange of culture and goods and draw us to live in harmony as neighbors.
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That highway would pass through a tunnel connecting Korea’s Busan with Karatsu, and there, in 1986, we commenced a pilot tunnel construction. I had long been interested in visiting the site. Finally, in 2016, I had the opportunity to go and see it. During my visit, I renewed our movement’s commitment to the peace highway. I believe that the world’s peoples are ready for this and that the time is ripe for launching the project based upon a global plan. To tell this story to the world, from the streets to the senate buildings, I had already created an affiliated project, “Peace Road.” It consists of public activism publicizing the international highway, and it has turned into a global movement for peace. I’ll share more about Peace Road later.
Regarding construction, the biggest challenges are those of crossing the spans of ocean that separate Alaska from Russia and Korea from Japan. The divides between those territories are both physical and spiritual, and the joint commitment to building a road uniting them will represent important steps toward peace for the human race. Of course, it is not an easy task. Since the dawn of human history, there has been no greater engineering and social challenge. Yet I know that it is possible and that it represents the ultimate task that must be accomplished in our era—the harmonious cooperation of all peoples and governments. Attitudes that persist based on the tormented history between Korea and Japan are a huge obstacle, and they give rise to opposition to the tunnel. But we have to forgive, forget and set our minds on the positive outcomes. An undersea tunnel connecting Busan in Korea with Karatsu in Japan will boost our respective abilities to contribute to the global economy. The anchor cities of Karatsu and Busan will become hubs for global trade, linking the Eurasian continent to the Pacific region. The tunnel will unite these two nations’ cultural assets, both traditional and cutting-edge, for global tourism. Most importantly, its construction will plant the roots of peace in Asia. And cooperation between these two countries will serve as a model for Heaven healing the wounds of conflict and hostility felt in nations and among peoples throughout the world.
The reality is, however, that these two nations pursue their own interests. I encourage their leaders to think about England and France, who waged wars against each other for a century yet joined hands to build the Channel Tunnel that connects them together. If the Korean and Japanese peoples open their hearts and accomplish genuine forgiveness and reconciliation, we will see the Korea-Japan Peace Tunnel built in our time. This tunnel will not just symbolize, but realize, humanity’s future based not on fear but on hope.
My husband and I therefore prayed that constructing this tunnel as part of the peace highway would create a low-pressure area on the Korean Peninsula, into which the high-pressure areas surrounding the peninsula to the east and west would converge to bring unity on the peninsula. Looking at a map with a motherly heart, I feel as if the island and continent long for each other, and the peninsula is where they meet.
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The second major challenge for the International Peace Highway is that of crossing the Bering Strait between Russia and the United States. That location will prove to be even more challenging than the Korea Strait. The Bering Strait once represented the ideological divide between the democratic and communist camps as the United States and Russia grappled with each other. Connecting these two nations is a vital step toward global peace and unification.
I want everyone to be able to travel the International Peace Highway by car or even bicycle from Cape Town to Santiago, from London to New York. I want taking a trip with your sweetheart through any country around the world to be as easy as visiting your hometown. One end of the highway will be the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa; the other end will be Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. It will cross the Bering Strait to link the African continent and Eurasia with the Americas. From the perspective of this highway, Korea will be the midpoint. By Heaven’s grace, the birthplace of the True Parents, for whom humankind has long awaited, will be at the very center.
Many people question how we can accomplish such a formidable task. Yet history shows that all great achievements have come amid difficulties. If it is the will of God, there must be a way. We already have the engineering prowess to construct a bridge-tunnel complex spanning the Bering Strait. Concerning the cost, we need to put it in perspective. Compared to the money that the world is investing in wars that do nothing but destroy nations and people, the cost of a bridge-tunnel constructed for the sake of peace is insignificant. Nations and movements sacrifice lives and resources following the logic of power—a foolish and ineffective way to resolve perceived injustice or settle disputes. Our Heavenly Parent is showing us the path of true peace. As the Book of Isaiah says, now is the time to beat our swords into plowshares. I have mentioned the Peace Road project. It consists of events in which people of all ages and nationalities, wearing Peace Road tee shirts and carrying a Peace Road flag, ride bicycles or walk to show their support for our proposed International Peace Highway. Their path ends at local government centers where officials and social and religious leaders speak at rallies, publicly announcing their support for the initiative and stimulating publicity in local media. Leaders and citizens of many countries, including members of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, have welcomed the Peace Road movement. In 2015, people in more than 120 countries participated. All together, the peace riders that year symbolically traversed the world in 93 days.
Bold love breaks an iron curtain
With the coming of the year 1990, people were feeling hopeful that the world might truly change. I would hear one person saying, “The term ‘Cold War’ will soon no longer be heard,” and another responding, “That may be your hope, but the Soviet Union is holding on, and communism is gaining power in many countries. Peace cannot be so easily achieved.” They would agree on one point—it won’t be easy.
In the late 1980s, with American conservatism on the rise, the Solidarity movement generating success in Poland, and glasnost and perestroika progressing in Russia, the world was entering an era of reconciliation, at least on a superficial level. But at the same time, Moscow-directed insurgencies were building momentum in Africa, Asia and Central America. Moscow had succeeded in forcing the United States to pull out of Vietnam, allowing communism to run rampant there and in the killing fields of Cambodia. Marxists were still bent on their ambition to communize the entire world.
At that time, my husband and I sponsored the World Media Association fact-finding tours, taking Western journalists to see firsthand the conditions in the Soviet Union and other communist states. Informing journalists with indisputable facts was an effective step toward ending the Cold War. Besides taking the blinders off these journalists’ eyes, the tours generated positive relations with Russian media. In addition, we welcomed the teams from communist countries during the 1988 Seoul Olympics, serving them with Korean food and gifts. On that foundation, my husband and I decided to go to Moscow to meet President Mikhail Gorbachev.