The Words of the Yang Family after 2014
The Citizens' Federation for the Unification of Korea hosted the 2014 Peace and Unification Rally for One Nation in preparation for the unification era. Another aim was the establishment of a foundation for peace and unification on the Korean peninsula. The rally was held at the Kim Ku Museum and Library convention hall on February 11, 2014. Around 1,300 guests including representatives of overseas Koreans from fifty nations and leaders of around a hundred major unification groups participated.
Unification Is Our Fate
The Peace and Unification Rally was co-hosted by the Citizens' Federation and the National Assembly' research group Unification Future Forum. The Ministry of Unification, the National Unification Advisory Council and other groups sponsored it. Myung Chul Cho, a member of the National Assembly and a co-representative of Unification Future Forum gave the welcoming remarks, emphasizing, "If the underground resources of North Korea and the technology of South Korea are combined, Korea can become a power ranking fifth or seventh in the world instead of tenth." He also said, "It is time for citizens to take the lead and confidently work for unification."
Following this, Yong Su Seol, chairman of the Citizens' Federation asserted, "Unification is not a choice; it is fate. Unification brings about the completion of the nation and it is a starting point in becoming a developed nation." He appealed to participants saying, "Eighty million Koreans have the fateful mission to achieve unification. By bringing about a complete nation through peace and unification, let us expedite the era of a great leap of the Korean people."
Dr. Chang Shik Yang, chairman of Washington Times Foundation commended the Peace and Unification Rally for One Nation for including overseas Koreans in the event. He added, "Based on what Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has said, the Washington Times Foundation and Koreans residing in the United States will work together to prepare for the era of unification."
Mr. Kihl Jae Ryoo, head of the Ministry of Unification, spoke on the direction to be taken in 2014 toward peace and unification. In the keynote address, Minister Ryoo said, "I am sincerely grateful to private groups such as the Citizens' Federation for the Unification of Korea for carrying on work that the government has not been able to do such as the 2014 Peace and Unification Rally for One Nation. I would like to particularly thank the Citizens' Federation for enabling overseas Koreans from around the world to meet within our homeland and to unify their passion and determination toward unification." He went on to say, "The Ministry of Unification plans to actively support civilian conducted efforts directed toward unification as in the case of today's event to unify the hearts and capacity of the eighty million people for the realization of one Korea."
In addition, he gave a general introduction on the directions the Ministry of Unification is going to take in 2014. "First of all," he said, "we plan to make North Korea give up on its pursuit of nuclear weapons and then start cooperation that will lead to a good structure or mutual trust. Second, we plan to share the vision of unification with surrounding powers and actively let them know that the reunification of Korea on the peninsula would actually contribute to the prosperity of not only North Korea and South Korea but also that of Northeast Asia and the world. Third, we will stimulate the citizens' hearts toward unification and enable them to take interest and feel passion toward unification with open minds."
Clockwise from top right: South Korean Minister of Unification Kihl Jae Ryoo, National Assemblyman Myeong Cheol Jo, Seong Chun Chu, an NGO head; Oh Sik Kwon, an NGO head residing the United States; Mal Mo Ku, an NGO head residing in Japan and Yong Su Seol, chairman of the Citizen's Federation
Overseas Koreans on Unification
Following the keynote address of the Minister of Unification, overseas Korean representatives from fifty nations and around a hundred unification groups partook in a Ceremony Proclaiming a Vision of Peace and the Unification of One Nation.
First, three representatives of the group of fifty overseas Koreans, one each from United States, Japan and Malaysia, greeted the audience. Followed this was a pledge of resolution.
Oh Shik Kwon, the American, is the executive director of the World Federation of the Korean Association of Commerce and a member of the standing committee of the National Unification Advisory Council of the United States. He said, "Unification is not only a big successful event to Korea but also to overseas Koreans around the world. Korean quality, resulting from unification, will raise the status of overseas Koreans who in turn will invest in North Korea and thereby minimize economic side effects following unification." The Japanese participant, Mr. Mal Mo Ku, chairman of the South Jeolla Province Committee of Koreans Residing in Japan, expressed his determination saying, "Koreans residing in Japan have overcome a history of suffering so far and must carry out the ground-breaking work of unification. I will take the lead for the rest of my life in working to achieve peace and unification to ensure that we can freely meet our brothers and sisters and are free to go to our hometowns whenever we want."
Lastly, Jong Yong Ryu, advisor to the World Peace Parliamentary Union of the Malaysian National Assembly, who resides in Malaysia, said, "I will actively inform Malaysian congressmen of the importance of peace and unification on the Korean peninsula and will dedicate everything I have to obtain international support and cooperation from not only Malaysia but also from surrounding countries in the work of unifying the Koreas."
Hope for Unity Increases
After Seong Chun Chu, a member of the Citizens' Council on Preparation for Unification, led the Seoul Proclamation on the Vision of a Unified Era, everyone held hands and passionately sang the "Song of Unification" with the hope that Korea soon unifies.
Professor Hak Hui Yu of the Department of Police Administration in Wonkang University said, "I believe that this Peace and Unification Rally was one that showed the vision of the unification movement, which both the government and private groups must build on together.... As the Minister of Unification mentioned, today's rally did something the government has not been able to do. I feel hope in the Citizens' Federation as it works on building a growing model of the unification movement centered on the citizens."
Based on this Peace and Unification Rally for One Nation, the Citizens' Federation and the Unification Future Forum plan to carry out earnest activities to prepare for an era centered on citizens and focused on reunification.