ILC2021-6 Closing Session - Intervention of Dr. Michael Balcomb

Thank you very much! What an amazing week this has being. We've had so many conferences, seminars. We've heard so many presenters, and one of the things I love about UPF is how we managed to bring together speakers and viewpoints from all over the world. This time not just throughout Europe, but also the United States, Russia, and even as far away as Asia, but I must confess at the end of this series I find myself challenged, because many of our speakers said something like the current approach is not working. We heard how sanctions are not working, and clearly, they're not, because North Korea has continued following the same path during all of the years of sanctions. Engagement is difficult, too, because there's almost no place for people-to-people engagement, and even normal diplomacy is very challenging.

30 years ago, I went to Seoul for the Olympic Games, and I had an opportunity to meet with the British ambassador at that time, and he told me, “Look, I know that you want to see Korea united, but I'll tell you it won't happen in the next 30 years”. I would have bet good money that he was wrong, but he was right. So is there hope?

I think there is. On Friday in the middle of all of these sessions I took the opportunity to go to the Korean War memorial in London. it's on the banks of the River Thames. It is a beautiful, peaceful spot, and the memorial is a gift from the people of Korea. We gathered there and we prayed for the more than 1000 British soldiers who died in Korea, thousands more who were prisoners of war, and all over Europe and indeed in the United states there were similar remembrances. And I've come to learn that in Russia and China too, there's a great deal of pride in the soldiers who went to fight what they believed for in the Korean War. So, one reason I think there is hope is that the blood of innocent young people was shed in Korea, and maybe it's poetic or fanciful, but I think it cries from the ground for the peace that everybody wants to see even the countries that fought in the Korean War, are not enemies anymore, we play football instead.

But somehow the problem of Korea remains and another thing that sticks in my mind was a comment from congressman Matt Samon on one of the ILC sessions a few days ago. He said look, there has to be the intervention of God. Now UPF is a secular organization, but as you know our founders, Father and Mother Moon, often said that the problems of this world are not simply human problems. They need a spiritual solution even a divine solution, and however, we see that I think we could recognize that simple diplomacy, economics, and all these approaches alone will not work. but the exciting thing is that, even as far away as we are, we're really focusing on this problem. And I believe that despite the difficulties, we could be at a turning point. Many years ago, Reverend Moon gave a speech in which he said we have to stop looking at problems with humanistic eyes. We have to see them through the eyes of God, and if we do, we will see that we are at a turning point in human history. Let's believe in those encouraging words. Thank you!

 

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