Mother of Peace: Episode 40
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 192-197
The chill of the cold winter wind we felt as we disembarked at Pyongyang Sunan Airport dissipated as we received the embraces of my husband’s relatives. Of course, they all were grandmothers and grandfathers. They grabbed hold of our hands and wept. A waterfall of tears surged in my heart, and I’m sure my husband’s as well, but I bit my lip and held them back. We had committed ourselves to this venture for the sake of Heavenly Parent and the world, not for the personal happiness of our relatives or ourselves. There would be another trip for that, we assured each other, casting our bread on the waters.
We settled in at the Peony Guest Hall, and the next day, in accord with our lifelong tradition, we arose early in the morning and prayed. If there were surveillance cameras in our room, all those prayers crying out for the unification of the Korean Peninsula were recorded. That day and the next, we were given a tour of Pyongyang.
Our meeting with a group of major North Korean government leaders at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on the third day of our stay has become a legend in North Korea. My husband and I knew that to speak for God and against the government’s “Juche” ideology in North Korea could be grounds for execution, but we were resolved to risk death for the sake of peace and unification. Let it go on record: Standing in the heart of North Korea, Father Moon denounced Juche thought and the Juche kingdom. He said loudly and clearly, “The unification of North and South Korea cannot come based on Chairman Kim Il Sung’s Juche thought. North and South Korea can be unified peacefully, and Korea can become the nation that can lead the whole world, only through the God-centered ideology and ‘head-wing’ thought of Unificationism.” Furthermore, he refuted their propagandist posture that the Korean War started with the South invading the North. By the end of his speech, Father Moon admonished them, “How can you call yourselves leaders? You cannot even control your own sex organs!”
The North Koreans were taken entirely by surprise. Their security personnel were anticipating the signal to rush in with guns drawn. Even though they to some degree knew what Father Moon was planning to say, our members accompanying us broke out in a cold sweat.
I had toured the whole world with my husband, and we had met the leaders of many nations, but nowhere did we have to maintain courageous determination and serious resolve comparable to that day in Pyongyang.
* * *
Father Moon’s speech went far past the schedule for lunch and everyone ate at separate tables in dead silence. Many thought that the chances of meeting Chairman Kim had just evaporated. My husband said it didn’t matter; he had said what he came to say.
On the sixth day, Chairman Kim sent two helicopters to transport us to Chongju, Father Moon’s hometown. As Chairman Kim had instructed, highway crews had newly paved the little road to my husband’s boyhood home, set up dignified tombstones and planted turf at the graves of his parents. They even had painted and decorated the house where Father Moon was born and spread sand on the earthen floor and yard. We visited his parents’ tombs and offered flowers.
I gazed at the sky in the direction of Anju, my hometown, 18 miles away. Is the old house that embraced me so snugly still standing there? Is corn growing in the backyard field these days? Where is my maternal grandfather’s grave? I was curious about everything, but I held it inside. We had come to meet with Chairman Kim Il Sung on behalf of our Heavenly Parent, and to shape the future of our homeland. We had come for the sake of the nation and world. I could not entertain my personal feelings in light of that historic summons. I was there so that the day would come when all Koreans and all peoples will be free to visit their hometowns.
It was on the seventh day that we finally met Chairman Kim. As we entered the Chairman’s white-stone official residence in Majeon, Hamgyongnam Province, he was waiting for us. Without regard to protocol, my husband greeted Chairman Kim as if they were old friends, and Chairman Kim reciprocated, and we all took a deep breath as the two joyfully embraced each other. Chairman Kim, seeing me in a traditional Korean dress, politely gave his welcome.
The first order of business was lunch, and while we ate, we began our conversation by unreservedly sharing small talk about such things as hunting and fishing. Gradually, Father Moon and I introduced our current activities, including the World Culture and Sports Festival planned for the coming August. Hearing that it would include a Blessing Ceremony for 30,000 couples from around the world, Chairman Kim offered the Myeongsasimni Beach in North Korea’s beautiful Wonsan district, where the sweetbriar is beautiful, as its venue. He also promised to open the port of Wonsan to transport all the couples to that site. Then all of a sudden, there were so many things to talk about. The conversation took on an energy of its own and continued far beyond its scheduled closure. My husband embraced his enemy, whom he had been preparing for decades to meet, with deep and intense love.
Chairman Kim was impressed by our sincerity and accepted our proposals in a bright manner throughout the meeting.
* * *
At that time, visitors from the free world visited North Korea at the risk of their lives. Communists hate religion, and my husband and I were co-founders of a religion. In addition to that, we were leaders of a global movement to end communism. Our trip to North Korea was not for the sake of joint economic ventures. We didn’t go with a duplicitous motive, feigning interest in North Korea’s benefit while actually being there for our own benefit. Such is typical of the political world, but that was not on our minds. For the sake of genuinely following the providential will, we went only with the heart of God, to enlighten and lovingly embrace the communist leaders and open the way for genuine unification. We entered that land relying only on God and advised its supreme leader to receive Heaven’s decree.
While in North Korea, even though we were honored as state guests, we could not sleep comfortably, knowing that there were thousands upon thousands of families separated and longing for each other because Korea was not yet unified. We stayed awake every night, seeking to connect heavenly fortune to that place through our heartfelt prayer. We spent those nights submitting ourselves to God, for the sake of the unification of the Korean Peninsula. Political negotiation and economic exchange will come only on the foundation of the true love of God. By making this our focus, our talks with Chairman Kim opened a new chapter for the unification of North and South Korea.
Looking back, I reflect that it was at the moment communism reached its zenith that my husband and I risked our lives to go to Moscow and Pyongyang. With joyful hearts, as representatives of the free world, we embraced enemies who had severely persecuted us. By our doing so, they were moved, and we could reconcile. Thus, we laid the foundation for unification and peace. We went to North Korea not to get something but to give genuine true love. For the sake of God, my husband and I forgave the unforgivable; for the sake of humanity, we loved the unlovable.
Soon after the completion of our eight-day mission, North Korea’s Prime Minister Yon Hyong-muk led a delegation to Seoul and signed a “Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” with the South Korean government. Over the coming months, our movement set up an industrial enterprise, the Pyonghwa Motors factory, as well as the Botong River Hotel and the World Peace Center, all in Pyongyang, as the cornerstone for unification. Afterwards, the seeds planted by my husband and I at that time bore fruit with the visit of the South Korean president to North Korea to discuss the path toward unification. On that foundation, the shoots of peace and unification are growing. When those shoots blossom into full bloom, the earnest prayers my husband and I have offered for Korean unification will be remembered forever.