Distinguished panelists, Ambassadors for Peace and dear UPF friends,
It is my greatest happiness to greet you representing UPF Europe and the Middle East. Thank you very much for participating in the ILC 2021 July webinar.
Tokyo Summer Olympic Games
I am very happy to greet you from my home city, Tokyo, where the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have begun. It is our greatest honor to welcome all the Olympic Athletes from all over the world. I experience joyful days cheering for the Olympians from Europe and the Middle East as well as the Japanese athletes.
As you know, the Modern Olympism was conceived by Barron Pierre de Coubertin on whose initiative the International Olympic Committee (IOC) constituted itself in June 1894.
The 1920 Olympic Games held in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, 100 years ago, were organized under the tremendous difficulties caused by the 1st World War and the global Pandemic of Influenza which is said by some scholars to have killed about 45 million people around the world. This Olympics greatly encouraged the European people and contributed to the post-war reconstruction. History repeats itself. The 2020 Tokyo Games were held under the great challenge of the Corona Pandemic. I hope that the Tokyo Olympics will also encourage the people of the world who are suffering from the Pandemic.
Like the creation of the Olympics, the origin of UPF can be found back in the 20th Century, the century of war and revolution. The Korean War, which broke out in 1950, is described by some scholars as the 3rd World War, and this war was very ruthless and resulted in the division of the nation into north and south.
The founders of UPF, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon were both born in what is now North Korea. They experienced 36 years of rule by the Japanese, the 2nd World War and the tragic Korean War. They were both literally refugees during the Korean War, and they could not see their relatives in North Korea freely, a situation which perdures even today.
The young Dr. Moon was arrested by the Communist Government which started to rule Northern Korea 2 years before the War broke out and sentenced to five years of hard labor in Hungnam Prison which was a Soviet-Style gulag. He was among the first of the Christian ministers sent to this hard labor camp. He witnessed many people dying of hunger, sickness, and execution in this extermination camp.
In the case of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, at the age of 6 or 7 years old, she also suffered a lot as a refugee on the way down to Southern Korea. The UPF founders were the direct victims of the world war and the communist revolution. These experiences motivated them to work for world peace and the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula by dialogue with mutual respect.
The Korean people think that the Korean War was the result of the Cold War and they themselves are its victims. In the Korean War, the nation was divided, people and clans were split and killed each other, and families were divided. Therefore, it is not too much to say that the division of Korea is not a simple division, rather it was the manifestation of the entire division. The reunification of the Korean Peninsula is, therefore, very meaningful and significant in this regard.
The UPF Founders’ visit to NK
Dr. moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, made a crucial step 30 years ago towards the establishment of world peace through the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. They visited Pyongyang, North Korea, in December 1991, to hold peace talks with the supreme leader, President Kim Il Sung, who once attempted to kill Dr. S.M. Moon. The agreement they signed became the fundamental North Korean policy towards South Korea in 1990’s. They won the trust of the North Korean president and officials. They played a crucial role in the Track 1.5 dialogue with the Government of North Korea for the sake of peace on the Peninsula. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon holds out great hope of visiting North Korea again to commemorate their first visit.
July 27th, 1953
Today, July 27, is the anniversary of the Armistice Agreement for the Korean War signed by North Korean, Chinese and United Nation’s representatives in 1953. The South Korean representative refused to sign the agreement. This was the day when temporary peace was restored, but it was also the day the subsequent north-south division was fixed. The destruction caused by the war was so terrible that both North Korea and South Korea had to invest a huge amount of energy in reconstruction with the support of friendly countries. I think this is the time that the world should cooperate toward the peaceful reunification of Korea. For this purpose, ILC 2021 was designed to concentrate on the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and conducting discussions and exchanges around the world.
Dear UPF friends,
In today's world, many of the problems are intricately intertwined and cannot be solved by one country alone. Therefore, cooperation between nations is necessary for solving problems. Taking all these things into consideration, UPF’s founders presented the new ideology of Head-Wing Thought for the sake of realizing the universal peace.
The Idea and some Projects of UPF
According to the Founders’ Idea, the key words of UPF are "Empathy, Cooperation and Togetherness with the heart of living for the sake of others."
One concrete example of UPF’s activity is the Peace Road and the Korea-Japan Under Sea Tunnel Project. This is a project to connect the entire world with an international highway, bridge, and tunnel. The vision of the Peace Road initiative goes beyond the materialistic desire for economic benefit. It seeks for a spiritual dimension, aiming to tear down the wall of division in both the spiritual and physical dimensions. The international highway, bridge and tunnel will connect people on both sides together as one family under God. The UPF founders suggested the construction of a highway between Korea and Japan, two former enemy nations, at an international science conference in Seoul, 1981. They later proposed the Bering Strait Tunnel and Bridge for the unity of USA and Russia.
It is very inspiring that many young people organize Peace Road Events linking people in hostile relationships by walking, bicycling, etc., all around the world, even in the Balkans and in the city of Pyongyang, North Korea.
IAPD: Interfaith Activity
Interfaith activity is one of the main pillars of UPF activities. The UPF founders never missed an opportunity to encourage faith-based organizations to work for the universal peace of all humanity regardless of any differences. It would be wonderful if religions could work together for the sake of humanity. Let me encourage you to support the International Association for Peace and Development involving religious and political leaders.
I have more to share with you, but I want to close my greetings here expressing my deep appreciation for your participation in ILC 2021. Please have fruitful time in the ILC 2021 event.
Thank you very much.