Distinguished guests, eminent presenters, religious and political leaders, scholars in the media and business leaders, ambassadors for peace. On behalf of the universal peace federation of Europe and the Middle East and Eurasia, it is my greatest pleasure to welcome you to this online international leadership conference 2021, under the theme of the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula, peace and security.
As you know, UPF was founded by the late Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, in 2005, with the vision to organise a global council of leaders. They have devoted themselves to the peace movement throughout their lives. They have created a huge number of peace movements and organisations for peace all around the world. The ILC 2021 you are attending is a series of events simultaneously organised throughout the world, sharing the common topic of peace in the Korean Peninsula, commemorating 30 years of our founders’ visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, in 1991. it is very historic that they could have a peace talk with the supreme leader of North Korea, chairman Kim Il Sung, who once attempted to kill Dr. Moon in a prison camp. The agreements made in the summit talks, such as the peaceful use of the nuclear energy and the cultural exchange between South and north Korea, became the fundamental framework of North Korean diplomacy towards South Korea in the 1990s.
Dear participants, both UPF founders were born in what is now North Korea, during the 40 years that Korea was ruled by Japan. They experienced the Second World War and the Korean War, which divided the country into north and south. They were both refugees during the Korean War and even after the war. This is one of the factors that motivated them to work tirelessly for peace and unification through dialogue with mutual respect.
June 25th is the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. It is appropriate to describe the Korean War as a world-level, tragic war between the democratic and communist world. There are some scholars who think that the Korean War was the third World War based upon the ideological crush. The historical record of war tells us that 3.5 million people died in this war. Since it wrecked unimaginable damage on the people in the land of Korea, their desire for peace and stability is very strong.
Looking back on the history of Korea, its geopolitical location has brought tremendous difficulty to the land and people of Korea. It is necessary to say that Korean domestic conflicts also have been very serious all throughout its history. The recent South Korean political conflict must be a big challenge for the peaceful reunification of the peninsula. I'm also very worried about the recent South Korean surveys, which have shown that the hope for peaceful reunification of the peninsula has been diminishing among young people. Therefore, new measures must be taken can inspire young Korean people about the need for Korean reunification. UPF Korea hopes to play that role.
Regarding the political relationship between South Korea and North Korea, it is very difficult even to start a dialogue for peace. How can we open the door of North Korea? How can we bring them to the discussion table? How can we work together with them? There is nobody at present who has won the trust of the North Korean leaders in South Korea. The steps for reunification by physical force are over and should not happen again. The steps for reunification by competition have finished, with South Korea by winning of, I can say, but we still have a long way to go to realise the peaceful reunification.
Now is the time therefore to pursue unification by the 3rd way with new ideas. That is the proposal of “headwing” ideology by Dr. Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han moon. The headwing vision is not an ideology to destroy enemies, opponents, but represents a force to embrace even enemies, to create a new identity and mutual respect. East Asia has been one of the biggest international concerns. I greatly appreciate the fact that European countries have shown deep concern for peace in this area. I think the time has come for us to proceed one step ahead for peace and the reunification of Korea, mobilising the experience and wisdom from all over the world. I have no doubt that European experiences, such as the reunification of Germany and construction of the channel tunnel, will provide good insights for the stability of East Asia.
The Covid 19 pandemic is currently the biggest threat to us all. Our major task is how to overcome this threat. The key words which will lead us to world peace and happiness must be empathy, togetherness, cooperation and hope. I express my gratitude again for your participation in this online event, ILC 2021. I’d like to close my greetings here. May you have a good time in this online event. Thank you very much again for your participation!