I like to use the phrase, "Alaska spirit." This refers to getting up at five o'clock, going out to sea and not returning until well after midnight. The person stays out on the ocean until he catches the amount of fish he must catch that day. A person cannot become a boatman unless he learns how to endure this way.
Catching fish is not a pleasure cruise. No matter how many fish may be in the ocean, they are not going to be fished on their own. ft takes specialized knowledge and much experience. A person must know how to mend a net and how to tie an anchor rope. Once a person has received the intense training to become a fisherman, he will be able to go anywhere in the world, overcome his new surroundings and be a leader of people. Learning to be a fisherman is good leadership training.
Dominance at sea will require ships that can go anywhere in the world, and submarines as well. Korea is already the largest shipbuilding country in the world. It has the ability to become a great sea power. What it needs now is for more people who will go out to sea. We are the descendants of Chang Bo Go, a wealthy man of the 9th Century who ran an international maritime trading business and was called, "Ocean King."
We have a tradition of going out to sea on ships, fighting the waves and winning, so there is nothing we cannot do.
People fear the waves. When waves catch the wind, they become swells. The formation of waves and swells is needed for oxygen to be mixed into the ocean. If the ocean is calm for an extended period, with wind or waves, the ocean begins to die. When we realize the value of waves, they are no longer something to be feared. Even if a strong wind blows and the waves become fearsome, we understand that this is the way to help the fish live. Then, the waves become part of the attraction of the sea.
Just 30 meters below the surface, there are no waves. If we were to take a submarine to the bottom of the ocean, it would be cool enough that there would be no need for air conditioners. The fish choose the depth that has the temperature that is right for them, and perform wonderful dances as they swim in schools. Similar to the Little Angels, they have their colorful outfits and gently wave their fins. The world, too, will soon be as peaceful as this.
The tact that an oceanic era is coming means that Korea will soon have the opportunity to change the world. The ocean, which embraces and nourishes ill living beings, is a symbol of womanhood. Land, meanwhile, is a symbol of manhood. Islands countries surrounded by ocean represent womanhood, and the peninsular countries that are attached to the extremities of continents represent manhood. People who live in peninsular countries have had to contend through history with invasions from both land and sea. and so thev are brave and have a steefv national character. It is not by coincidence that civilization developed in peninsular countries such as Greece and Italy. Civilization could blossom in these countries, because they had the enterprising spirit and a tough adventurous spirit to spread their influence across the continent and also conquer the seas.
Have you heard about the Black Stream? This is a current in the Pacific that travels 4,000 miles a year, based on the gravitational pull of the moon. It is an oceanic gyre that revolves all the way around the Pacific Ocean, so to describe it simply as "tremendous" is not nearly sufficient. All the oceans of the world move by the power of the Black Stream. If this current did not exist, the oceans would not move and would die. Just as even the largest and mightiest rivers eventually must flow into the sea, so also even the largest oceans must move in accordance with the current of the Black Stram. The Korean people must become like the Black Stram and lead the world. We must become the source of strength in the world, the place where all the life forces in the world exist in concentration.
I visited Korea's southern coast many times in an effort to find the place that could become the center of a Pacific civilization, and I finally chose Yeosu and Sooncheon. The sea off the coast of Yeosu that is as tranquil as a mirror and clear is where Adm. Yi Soon Shin dealt the Japanese a heavy defeat, and it is also where he died in battle. Yeosu has such a historic sea, and is also the point where the Youngnam and Honam regions meet. It is at the end of the foothills of Mt Jiri, where leftists and rightists fought each other following the Korean War. In this sense it is a land imbued with the pain of our people. Sooncheon Bay, famous for its reed beds, has a beautiful and world famous ria coast. Out on the sea, with its clear waters that seem to dance, we can catch many different types of fish. Abalone and brown seaweed grow in the tranquil waters of the hay. The large tidal flats are filled with cockle and other types of shellfish and small octopus. I have been out on the seas in that area, and also climbed the mountains, and it is clear that this is a beautiful land that lacks nothing as a base to prepare for the coming maritime age.
Iam now developing Korea's southern coast, with the focus on Yeosu. As a part of the preparations for this, I have been to Geomun Is. and other islands in the area and lived there for several months. I consider people who have lived there, farming and fishing for the past several decades to be my teachers. I ate and slept in humble inns as I studied everything in detail. I didn't just study with my mouth. I went everywhere, using my eyes and feet to check everything. As a result, I now know what kind of fish can be found in what area of the ocean, what kind of net needs to be used to catch them, what kind of trees grow in the mountains, and which home on the island has an old man living alone after having suffered a stroke.
The day I finished my studies of the southern coast, I took the village mayor who had been helping me on an airplane to Alaska. He had taught me everything he knew, so I wanted to return the favor by teaching him what I knew about Alaska, I went fishing with him in Alaska, and told him about the different kinds of fish and how they can be caught Even if I know only a little about something, I don't feel comfortable unless I share it with others.
Very soon after I began developing Yeosu, it was chosen as the venue for an international maritime exposition to be held in 2012. Together with the Olympic Games and the World Cup, international expositions are among the three largest festivals of a global scale. During the six months that Expo 2012 is held in Yeosu, 154 member countries of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) will operate various exhibits. This arill focus the world's attention on Yeosu, and the technology and culture 0f developed countries will flow into Yeosu. Have you ever looked up at a summer sky and seen clouds blowing in at an amazing speed? Once clouds catch the wind, they move quickly over mountains and oceans. There is no time to be hesitating. In a way similar to those clouds, the world will start to come toward Yeosu and the Korean peninsula.
I plan to connect all the islands along the southern coast with bridges, and build condominiums where people who love boats from around the world can come and stay. These will not be condominiums just for play. Americans, Germans, Japanese, Brazilians and Africans will come. They may go out on different boats to catch fish, but I will have them stay in the same condominiums to show that humanity is one family.
The oceanic era will also be the era of outer space. Soon, a time will come when aeronautic technology will become an absolute necessity, ft will be too late for Korea to prepare its space industry then. I am preparing an aeronautic industrial park in Gimpo, Kyounggi Province. I plan to produce world famous Sikorsky helicopters ourselves. Soon, the day will come when helicopters bearing the Taeguk mark of Korea will fly the seas and skies all over the world.