The Korean peninsula is the last remaining divided country on earth. We have the responsibility to unify the peninsula. We cannot pass on to our descendants a homeland that is split in two. It is impermissible that one people is divided in two, and that we are not able to see our parents or siblings who live in the other half. The 38th parallel or the cease fire line that divided us between North and South are lines drawn by human beings. Land can be divided that way, but not the people. That we do not forget each other and continue to yearn for each other even after being separated for more than fifty years shows that we are one people.
The Korean people were traditionally known as "people of white clothing," because of the color of our clothing. White is the symbol of peace. Our people are the people of peace. During the time of the Japanese occupation, Koreans, Chinese and Japanese people lived in Manchuria and Siberia, sometimes helping each other and other times killing each other. During that time, Koreans never carried swords or knives. Japanese and Chinese carried swords, but not Koreans. Instead, we carried flint rocks. Lighting fires in the frozen land of Manchuria and Siberia was a way of protecting life. This is the kind of people we are. We respect Heaven, uphold moral principles, and love peace. Our people shed much blood during the time of the Japanese occupation and the Korean War. This, however, did not bring about the unification of our country or the establishment of a sovereignty of peace. Our country was broken at the waist into two pieces, and half became a dark world of Communism.
We cannot restore the sovereignty of our people unless we accomplish unification. We cannot have peace, as long as we are divided between North and South. Only after we first accomplish peaceful unification and restore our sovereignty can we go on to bring about world peace. The Korean people were created to bring peace to this world. Everything has a name, and names have meaning. The clothing of the "people of white clothing" is easy to see, both day and night. White is the best color to use as a sign during the night, because it is the easiest to see in the darkness. Our people are destined to convey messages of peace around the world, both day and night North and South are divided by the cease fire line, but this is not a problem. Once we remove that line, we will find an even larger cease fire line between us and Russia and China. For our people to enjoy true peace, we will need to overcome those cease fire lines as well. It will be difficult, but it is not impossible. The important thing is our own attitude.
I believe that when a person sweats, he should sweat every last drop that he has in him. He should sweat even the last little bit that is in his heart That way, he will have no regrets and everything will become clean and set in order. The same is true when we attempt something difficult The difficulty will only end when you have gained victory at every stage, and everything has been made clear. Whatever you are dealing with, it needs to be completely put in order. Then it will come back. We cannot restore our people's full sovereignty without going through such tearful difficulties.
Today, many people talk about peaceful unification. I, however, spoke about this in the time when people did not dare even use the phrase "peaceful unification," for fear of being charged with violating the Anti-Communist Law and the National Security Law. Today, when people ask me what must be done to bring unification, I tell them what I have always said on this matter.
"If South Koreans love North Korea more than they love the South, and North Koreans love South Korea more than they love the North, we could unify the peninsula today."
I was able to risk my life to go to North Korea and meet President Kim in 1991, because I had a foundation of such love within me. I made agreements then with President Kim regarding meetings of separated families, North-South economic cooperation, developing Mt. Kumgang, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and working toward a North-South summit conference. No one thought that an anti-Communist could go to a Communist country and open the flood gate of unification, but I surprised the world.
Before my meeting with President Kim, I delivered a two-hour address titled "Blood is Thicker than Water" at the Mansudae Assembly Hall, seat of the Supreme People's Assembly, North Korea's legislature. I spoke that day to the leadership of North Korea about "a way to unify North and South through love." I stood before the leadership of North Korea, armed with Kim II Sung s thought, and told them exactly what I believed.
"North and South must be unified,* I said, "but guns and swords will not make us one. North-South unification will not happen with military force. Even the Korean War failed in this respect, and it is foolish for anyone to think that they can make another attempt through military force. Neither will unification happen with the juche ideology that you espouse. What will do it, then? The world does not operate only by the power of human beings. Because God exists, nothing can be done with human effort alone. Even in situations of evil, such as war, God carries out his Providence. That is why North and South cannot be unified through a juche ideology that puts man at the center. Bringing about a unified homeland can only be done with Godism. God is protecting us, and our time of unification is coming. Unification is the destiny; it is the task that must be accomplished in our era. If we cannot accomplish the sacred task of unifying the homeland in our time, we will not be able to hold our heads high in the presence of our ancestors or descendents for the rest of eternity. What is Godism? It is the practice of God's perfect love. Neither the right wing nor the left wing can unify North and South. It will be possible only when there is a Headwing Thought that is able to harmonize these two. To travel the path of love, you must apologize before the world for your invasion of the South. I understand that North Korea has planted 20,000 resident espionage agents in the South. Send an order to all of them, instructing them to turn themselves in to South Korean authorities. If you do that, I will give them an education that will rectify their ideology, and turn them into patriots who will contribute to the peaceful unification of North and South."
I pounded on the table in front of me as I spoke. The expressions of Mr. Yun Ki Bok and Vice Premier Kim Dal Hyun grew tense with fear.
I was aware of what dangers I might be exposed to for making such statements, but I needed to say what I had come to say. I was not simply trying to shock the audience. I knew that my speech would be reported immediately and word for word to President Kim and Chairman Kim Jong II. So I wanted to state my purpose clearly.
When I finished, I looked at my entourage, and saw that their faces were white with fear. Some of the North Koreans present even protested, demanding to know how I could dare to speak in such a manner.
Our members who were with me told me: "The speech had a very strong tone, and the atmosphere of the audience is not good." I was adamant, however.
"Why did I come here," I asked them. "I didn't come to see the land of North Korea. If I were to leave here without saying what needed to be said, Heaven would punish me. Even if today's speech is used by them as an excuse to deny me a meeting with President Kim and to expel us from the country, I still needed to say what I came to say."
After my visit, on July 8,1994, President Kim died suddenly. His death came at a time when North-South relations were at the worst possible stage. Patriot missiles had been deployed on South Korean soil, and hawks in the United States who advocated the destruction of nuclear facilities in Yonbyun were gaining influence. It appeared that war might break out at any time. North Korea announced it would not receive any mourners from outside the country, but I felt it was important that we send someone so as to fulfill my obligation as someone who had formed a relationship of brothers with President Kim. I called Bo Hi Pak.
"Go immediately to North Korea as my representative to mourn president Kim's death."
"No one can get into North Korea now."
"I know it's difficult, but somehow you have to go. I don't care if you have to swim across the Yalu River. Get in there and convey my condolences; Bo Hi Pak first traveled to Beijing, and risked his life to communicate with North Korea. Then, Chairman Kim Jong II gave the instruction, An exception will be made for a mourning representative from President Moon. Escort him to Pyongyang."
After condolences had been expressed, Chairman Kim Jong II met with Bo Hi Pak and politely greeted him, saying, "My father always said that President Moon was working hard for the unification of our homeland. I am glad that you came."
In 1994, the Korean peninsula was in such a crisis that it could have exploded at any time. At that moment, we were able to resolve the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula as a result of the relationship that I had formed with President Kim II Sung. Sending a representative to express my Condolences was not simply a matter of mourning.
I have described my meeting with President Kim in considerable detail to illustrate my point about the importance of faith and loyalty between two people. I met him for the sake of the peaceful unification of our homeland. I was able to convey my concerns for the destiny of our people with faith and loyalty. As a result, after his death, his son Chairman Kim Jong II accepted our mourning representative. There is no wall that cannot be scaled and no dream that cannot be realized when we share our love with a sincere heart When I went to North Korea, I thought of it as my homeland and the home of my brother. I didn't go there with a desire to get something from them. I went there with the purpose to share with them my heart of love. The power of love touched not only President Kim II Sung but his son Chairman Kim Jong ii. Since then, and continuing to this day we and North Korea have maintained a special relationship. Each time North-South relations become difficult, we have played a role in openin th gateway. It is all based on the fact that I met with President Kim Il Sung conveyed to him my sincere heart and built a relationship of trust him. That is the importance of trust.