Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 20 - The Summit Between Sun Myung Moon and Kim Il Sung [Part 2 of 5]
The Providential Meaning Behind the Visit to North Korea
There was another important reason, a providential one, why Reverend Moon went to North Korea and met with Kim Il Sung. As I explained in the previous chapter, the meeting between Reverend Moon and President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union was a meeting between the world-level Jacob and world-level Esau. The meeting between Sun Myung Moon and Kim Il Sung of North Korea was a meeting in the same vein, although one dimension higher; it was a meeting between Jacob and Esau on the cosmic level.
In the course of the history of God's providence, God always searched for individuals who could take responsibility for the salvation providence. Once he found the right individual, he would appoint him (or her) as a providential central figure in accordance with the requirements of His providence for that particular age. In this way, God entrusted that person with indemnifying the failures of the past and advancing the Will of God. In the six thousand years of history recorded in the Bible, the position of central figure in God's salvation providence was first filled by Adam and Eve, who dwelt in the Garden of Eden, and was passed on to Cain and Abel. When they failed to fulfill their providential responsibility, the central role was passed on to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, down to John the Baptist. On that foundation, God sent the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
None of these core people of the providence, however, was able to complete the requirements of God's providential program. In other words, regardless of whether they fulfilled the expectations of Heaven to a greater or lesser extent, in the end, each of them fell short of the mark. Each of them was truly wise. Each of them was great in his or her own right. Each of them accomplished great things. Yet, in the end, none of them was able to bring the providence to the fruition that God envisioned, and the result was the continued prolongation of God's providence of salvation.
Among them all, however, the one exception was Jacob. He alone was able to complete Heaven's assigned program completely. In the end, God gave him a new name, Israel. The meaning of Israel is "he who is victorious." The twelve sons of Jacob became the ancestors of God's chosen people, the Israelites, and it was from Jacob's blood lineage that Jesus was born. Jacob's decisive victory occurred when he achieved a tearful reconciliation with his twin brother Esau. As the second son of Isaac, Jacob employed a cunning ruse (one could almost say deception) with the aid of his mother to win the elder son's blessing (or birthright) that Esau was due to receive. Jacob disguised himself as his brother, came before his father, and from him received the blessing. This obtaining of the elder son's birthright by Jacob was an absolute necessity of God's providence of salvation.
Esau, feeling "robbed" of his birthright, was filled with rage, and set his mind to killing his younger brother. If, at this point, Jacob had been killed at Esau's hand, this would have repeated the failure of Cain killing Abel after a quarrel. The history of evil and conflict would have again been extended. But Jacob fled his homeland and, with the aid of his mother, escaped across the wilderness to the house of his mother's brother, Laban. There he lived as an indentured servant for a long and difficult twenty-one years, but by cunning, wisdom and the sweat of his brow, he was able to win Laban's two daughters as wives, produce a large family, and gather a substantial number of worldly goods.
Nevertheless, Jacob's final mission lay in returning to his land of origin, his own hometown. He had to overcome all obstacles in his path and achieve reconciliation with his brother Esau. In the eyes of God, Jacob's reconciling with Esau and having Esau receive his love would mean that he had brought Esau to a natural surrender, which was the very fulfillment of the providence that God had been longing for.
Jacob sent his servants, wealth, cattle and goat herds before him and led his wives and children on the road toward the place of his birth. As he drew close to his old home, Jacob initiated his "gift offensive." He gathered his wealth, and sent it together with his servants as gifts to his brother. Although Esau had still been waiting for Jacob filled with a passion to murder him, Jacob's strategy mollified him. His heart was appeased. Finally, when Jacob came within sight of Esau, he spoke to his elder brother in the following way:
"If I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God, with such favor have you received me."
At this point, the two brothers fell into a warm embrace.
Esau's desire to slay his brother evaporated into thin air, and by simply embracing and accepting Jacob, Esau shared in the great blessing of Heaven. This is the record given to us by the Old Testament.
God's providence flowed on through the ages until now we have come to the age of the second advent of Christ. The Lord of the Second Advent, the True Parent and Savior of humankind, is the cosmic Abel, the cosmic Jacob, if you will. At the conclusion of the fallen history of humankind, the final, cosmic-level Jacob and Esau content has to he worked out, and this is being accomplished with the Korean peninsula as the stage. This is the reason the peninsula is divided along the 38th parallel. In the north, we find the kingdom of atheism; in the south, the Lord of the Second Advent is active. The Korean land has been divided into Cain's side (Satan's side) and Abel's side (God's side). To Kim Il Sung as Cain, as the cosmic-level Esau, Reverend Moon is Abel and the cosmic-level Jacob.
The cosmic Esau attempted to hurt and destroy his cosmic Jacob (Sun Myung Moon), more than once: in the torture at Pyongyang's Daedong Police Station, in the Hungnam concentration camp with the attempted assassination by the Japanese Red Army. Despite all this, the cosmic Jacob had accomplished outstanding success on the world stage and put together a substantial international foundation. Now, he had to forgive all things, return to his homeland, and meet his elder brother Esau (Kim Il Sung). He had to forget all the pain and bitterness of the past and accomplish a true meeting of complete forgiveness and reconciliation.
If a natural reconciliation with Esau could be achieved, if Esau were brought to a natural surrender, then in the eyes of God, that victory would bring the providential program for the Second Advent to full accomplishment and completion. On the foundation of that victory, the True Parents could be declared worldwide. The work of the second advent of Christ would proceed at great pace, and the gateway for the construction of the Heavenly Kingdom on earth would be open.
These, then, are all the things that Reverend Moon's visit to North Korea and his talks with President Kim Il Sung had to accomplish.
Top-Secret Contacts With Kim Jong Il
Who, in the end, played the decisive role in Reverend Moon's visit to North Korea? None other than the current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il (1942- ), chairman of the National Defense Commission and general secretary of the Korean Worker's Party.
Mr. Park Jong Geun was the first person from North Korea that I came into contact with. Mr. Park was a corporate president dispatched to Beijing as the confidant and deputy of Kim Jong Il. The meeting itself came about sometime after I was introduced by a friend to Ms. Pak Kyeong Yoon, president of the Kumgangsan International Consortium, in Hong Kong. Ms. Pak was a Korean businesswoman known to be well versed in North Korean affairs. She had long been active in the United States and had extensive personal contacts throughout North Korea, South Korea, Japan, the United States, and China. I was very impressed with her when I met her in Hong Kong, and I felt quite strongly that she was someone I could trust.
Our first meeting was short. After we exchanged the usual greetings, Ms. Pak came straight out and said, "Can you come to Beijing? There is someone there I'd like you to meet, someone quite prominent."
"Really?" I replied. "Well, certainly I can go to Beijing."
We agreed to meet in Beijing on November 8, 1991, at the Choong Gook Chinese Restaurant, then went our separate ways.
On the appointed day, Ms. Pak introduced me to Mr. Park Jong Geun. Officially, Mr. Park was CEO of Kumgangsan International Trade and Development, a subsidiary of the Kumgangsan International Consortium, but his appointment to the position was simply a measure to allow him to reside in Beijing. In reality, he was a close confidant and contact of General Secretary Kim Jong Il. Mr. Park possessed an almost genius intelligence, and his thought process was as quick as lightning. Another thing that struck one about him was his heavy smoking habit. Although unable to drink so much as a single drop of wine, Park Jong Geun was a chronic chain smoker. He was also given to enjoying a good adventure.
After we exchanged greetings, I broached the purpose of our meeting to him quite frankly. "Is there any way," I asked, "that North Korea might see having Chairman (of the Federation for World Peace) Sun Myung Moon make a visit?"
Mr. Park showed no sign of surprise. He had already figured that this was my reason for coming to meet him.
"Well, there is one person who can make it happen. That is General Secretary Kim Jong Il," he replied. "However, such an undertaking would be a risk even for him."
Blowing out smoke, he continued. "But I know Secretary Kim very well. I think he will really like the idea. Personally, I'm very excited at the prospect of having Chairman Moon come to the People's Republic. I'm certain this is exactly what we need at this time.
"Ms. Pak and I have already spoken about the idea at length. At first the whole idea seemed quite impossible, but the more we thought about it, the more attractive the idea looked. I'll certainly give it my best shot and see if we can't pull it off. Can you please give me some documentation about the Unification movement and the work of Reverend Moon, some material I can use to argue the case?"
That evening, I explained in detail to Mr. Park about the global achievements of the Unification movement and why Reverend Moon wanted to visit North Korea. For his part, the North Korean was deeply amazed by the influence and size of the Unification movement.
He ended up taking a stack of my presentation material and also a collection of photographs. On his way out, he mentioned to me that the Panda automobile factory had been quite a topic of conversation in North Korea. The Panda automobile complex was a car project we had set up in China. Apparently Kim Jong Il had sent some people to take video footage of the plant and had later viewed the footage himself.
Before he left the room, I raised one more point with him. "You know that Reverend Moon's hometown is Jeong-ju, in Pyeong-An Puk-Do, don't you?" I said. "If he visits Pyongyang, he is sure to want to visit his hometown as well." I mentioned the point because I wanted to sound out whether the North Korean authorities might also allow a trip to Reverend Moon's hometown in Jeong-ju.
Without any hesitation whatsoever, Mr. Park replied. "Of course. He should also be able to meet all his relatives there as well, don't you think?"
We agreed to meet at the same place on November 16. Mr. Park said he would be leaving for Pyongyang the next day.
At this first covert contact with the North, I was accompanied by Antonio Betancourt, executive director of the Summit Council for World Peace, over which I presided at the time. I returned to Seoul and reported to Reverend and Mrs. Moon everything that had taken place.
Once again, Reverend Moon stressed to me one important point. "If I go there," he said, "it has to be before the end of this year. Got it?" Reverend Moon always has one eye on the flow of Heaven's timetable. Knowing his methodology, I was able to surmise that something very important was due to happen that year.
On November 15, I made my way to Beijing once again, together with Mr. Betancourt. By that time, Ms. Pak Kyeong Yoon's offices were set up in the Chinese capital. The next day was the day of our meeting at the same restaurant. I was in for a surprise, however. I found that Mr. Park and Ms. Pak were accompanied by none other than Mr. Kim Dal Hyon, deputy premier for North Korea's International Trade Ministry. I could see that things were getting serious.
Later I heard the following story from Mr. Park.
The day after our meeting in Beijing, Mr. Park took the first plane back to Pyongyang and went directly to see General Secretary Kim Jong Il. Kim sat and listened for about two hours to everything he had to report, after which the general secretary telephoned Deputy Premier Kim, who was responsible for North Korea's international trade relations. General Secretary Kim gave Kim Dal Hyon the following instruction. "Go to Beijing on the 16th and meet with Bo Hi Pak."
Apparently Deputy Premier Kim responded by voicing a protest. "Bo Hi Pak is a monster. Why should I have to meet with him?" whereupon General Secretary Kim firmly replied that he should just he quiet and do as he was instructed.
As the story shows, Kim Dal Hyon is not particularly gentlemanly, nor was he very positive about the project. In fact, I guess you could say that he looked upon us as complete enemies, so there was a lot of discussion, and ardently felt views were vehemently exchanged at the meeting.
For my part, I emphasized that "at present, North Korea is facing international isolation. It is just like a lonely boat in the midst of a huge ocean. Isolation brings misunderstanding, misunderstanding brings misjudgments and improper assessments. Such misjudgments can lead to war. Right now, North Korea needs a friend. But the kind of friend that North Korea needs is not another nation. Indeed, right now, other nations don't particularly want to be friends with North Korea. Yet North Korea can have a friend that is greater than any one nation. That person is Rev. Sun Myung Moon. If North Korea has Reverend Moon as its ally, this will he of greater benefit to North Korea than having a number of nations as friends."
Deputy Premier Kim's face took on a rather surprised look, and he strongly voiced his opposition.
For the last forty years, the people of North Korea have understood Reverend Moon to be the ringleader of the Victory Over Communism movement. How can we welcome Reverend Moon here? How are we supposed to welcome the commander in chief of the conservative anti-communists? He's nothing at all like the ones who visited us before, like lm Soo Kyung [a leader of the South Korean radical (Marxist) student movement] or Ik Hwan Moon [a minister from the anti-establishment faction in South Korea]. It's preposterous. I can't even imagine the idea.
I managed to persuade the deputy premier. I offered him the following example. "Mr. Kim, you know America's President Nixon, don't you? He is about as good a representative of the conservative forces in America as you are likely to get, a real anti-communist through and through. He went to China and had talks directly with Chairman Mao Zedong. How was that possible? It was possible because the American people believed that someone like Nixon would not get dragged into China's international strategies. They believed that he would pursue diplomatic relations only within the scope of America's national interests. That's why public opinion supported Nixon's trip to China. That's how he could visit China, hold talks with Chairman Mao, and why relations between China and the United States were normalized. But there is no way such a dramatic improvement in U.S.-China relations could be achieved if that had been President Carter and not Nixon. And who was the real beneficiary in all this? It was China. Up until that time, China had been branded by the United Nations as an aggressor nation, and could not so much as hand out a business card on the international stage. But all of a sudden, the very same China became a key international player.
If North Korea wants to gain the world's confidence, then it has to be able to make a friend out of ultra-conservative anti-communist figures like Rev. Sun Myung Moon. That's because the world can believe what Reverend Moon says. Who is going to believe what Reverend Ik Whan Moon or Soo Kyung Im say? The one who benefits most from such a visit would not be Reverend Moon, but the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Moreover, you can easily justify inviting Reverend Moon, whose hometown and relatives are in Jeong-ju in the North, on humanitarian grounds, don't you think?
It seemed that I had managed to convince the deputy premier. Later, someone told me something that he said after the meeting. "When I said Bo Hi Pak was a monster," he said, "I was right. He sure can talk like a monster [that is, he's as powerful as a monster in the art of smooth talking!]."
Of course, this indicates just how deeply he was impressed by the logic I put before him. After a lot of discussion, I finished up with the following words: "Please go back and make your report to General Secretary Kim Jong Il. If you want to go ahead with it, it has got to he done straight away and prepared in complete secrecy. Reverend Moon would have to arrive in Pyongyang sometime this month. Neither side would be able to maintain security for any longer, and after that, we couldn't go ahead with it even if we wanted to." Finally I said good-bye and left.
The next day we received the OK from Pyongyang. We were told that the matter was decided after Kim Jong Il reported to President Kim Il Sung. The invitation was to be issued in the name of Administrative Deputy Premier (Chairman for International Trade) Kim Dal Hyon, and the host was to be Mr. Yoon Ki Bok, chairman of the Committee for Support of Koreans Living Overseas (also chairman of the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland). D-Day was decided. It was to be November 30. Everything had been arranged exactly as we requested.
November 30, 1991, finally arrived. The day before, Reverend and Mrs. Moon had flown from Hawaii to Hong Kong. After spending the night, they boarded a flight with Dragon Air, a British-owned airline, on the morning of the 30th, and flew to Beijing. The Chinese government made the entire VIP section of Beijing airport available to the Moon entourage, and a representative from the China Association for International Friendly Contact came to the airport to greet us. A group of media people affiliated with the Unification movement had been called to Beijing from Korea, Japan, the United States, and other places without their knowing the purpose of the trip. Our plan was to have ten of them come along and cover Reverend Moon's historic trip to North Korea. Of course, this would depend on whether there was space on the plane, a special chartered flight that the North Korean government sent to bring us to Pyongyang.
After some time, Mr. Park Jong Geun arrived and greeted Reverend Moon. "It is an honor to have you visit the Republic," he said. "I have brought with me your official invitation." Mr. Park placed the official North Korean invitation, affixed with official red seals, before Reverend Moon.
Up until that point, all our exchanges and arrangements had been verbal, all made in the spirit of mutual trust. However, now we had it in writing, with the official government seal of Pyongyang affixed. It stated:
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea invites Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, co-founders and leaders of the Unification Church and chairmen of the Federation for World Peace, and the members of his entourage, to the Republic. The Republic hereby undertakes and guarantees the safety of the invited party during their stay in the People's Republic. November 30, 1991
Kim Dal Hyon, Deputy Premier of the State Department The Democratic People's Republic of Korea
The most significant feature of this invitation was that it expressly invited Reverend Moon as "the founder and leader of the Unification Church." Up until that time, Reverend Moon had received many invitations from numerous organizations in many different countries in the free world, but never once had he been invited as "the founder and leader of the Unification Church." It seemed quite amazing to me that North Korea, an atheistic nation, should invite him in his capacity as a religious leader.
"Our Great Leader, President Kim Il Sung, has sent a special flight here with instructions to bring Chairman Moon to Pyongyang," said Park Jong Geun. "However," he added, "we cannot actually accept the foreign media team at this time. Seeing as the Committee for Support of Koreans Living Overseas is in charge of your stay, on this occasion we would like you to restrict your entourage to Korean compatriots who have their residence overseas."
As a compromise, we finally arrived at the following list of eight members for the tour party:
Guest of Honor: Rev. Sun Myung Moon (Founder and Leader, Unification Church)
Guest of Honor: Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon
Dr. Bo Hi Pak (Chairman, the Segye Ilbo newspaper)
Mrs. Ki Sook Pak
Mr. Hyo Yool Kim (Special Assistant to Reverend Moon)
Mr. Ki Byeung Yoon (Chief of Security for Reverend Moon)
Ms. Won Ju Jong (Secretary to Mrs. Moon)
Rev. Yeop Joo Hwang (Unification Church missionary to Beijing)
At the top of the ramp the group waved good-bye as tiny prepared to leave on their historic journey to North Korea.
While he passed time in the VIP lounge, Reverend Moon was all smiles, and he exchanged a few jokes with Park Jong Geun. They chatted enthusiastically in their native dialect. The clock finally struck 3:00 PM. It was time to depart. The Moon entourage got on the VIP transport and headed for the Air Koryo Airlines plane. Before Reverend Moon climbed up the boarding ramp, commemorative photographs were taken. From the top of the ramp, Reverend Moon gave a big wave and entered the plane. The historical journey had begun.
A smart-looking young man appeared as soon as the Reverend and Mrs. Moon were seated. He courteously greeted Reverend Moon, saying, "I am Counselor Kim Yeong Soo of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. I have been instructed by the great President Kim Il Sung to come to Beijing and take care of Chairman Moon and his party on their trip to Pyongyang." Every time they opened their mouths, all you could hear was "Great Leader Kim Il Sung."
The distance from Seoul to Pyongyang is in fact less than that from Seoul to Pusan (the second-largest city in South Korea). The journey to the North Korean capital, however, feels like a trip to a country thousands of miles away; one feels that one is going to a foreign land. Through the experience, I felt quite tangibly the tragedy of division that bisected my beloved homeland.
Next, two pretty women flight attendants came out and made the same greeting. They served refreshments and passed out the Worker's Daily News (Nodong Shinmun) newspaper.
The plane began to speed down the runway. I had no way to predict how the next days would turn out, and with such an unpredictable prospect ahead of me, I offered a prayer as the plane took off: "Heavenly Father, let Your Will he done. Heavenly Father, I place everything in Your hands."
As soon as the plane had risen to cruising altitude and leveled off, Counselor Kim came out again. "Chairman Moon, our flight time to Pyongyang will he approximately one and a half hours," he said. "First, we will cross the Yellow Sea and head toward Shin Oi Ju, then turn toward the south and finally set down in Pyongyang. We will be passing over your hometown, Jeong-ju in Pyong An Puk Do."
I wondered if they had planned it this way. Had they set up the flight path so that the first part of Reverend Moon's trip to the North would enable him to look down upon his hometown, to see his hometown fields from the skies?
Presently the flight attendants served us some neatly prepared snacks. One thing that impressed me was that each member of the crew had a badge with a photograph of President Kim Il Sung pinned on his or her chest.
After about one hour, land appeared below us. It was the northern regions of our beloved homeland, longed for by so many of our southern compatriots. The land lay under the colorful rays of the setting sun and exuded peace and serenity.
I was looking at our Father's homeland for the first time. The sunset gradually reddened further, and the plane began to descend. An announcement informed us that we would be landing in fifteen minutes. Almost everyone was absorbed in fastening their seatbelts and looking out the windows, but Reverend and Mrs. Moon were both quietly meditating.
Reverend Moon Enters Pyongyang
The plane landed at Pyongyang's Sunon Airport, pulling to a stop in front of the central terminal. Outside, a large gathering, including North Korean photographers, awaited our arrival. When the ramp was put in place, Reverend Moon was the first to alight. I thought about the words that astronaut Neil Armstrong said when he took that first step on the moon: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I felt sure that this small step by Reverend Moon would become a great leap for the unification of North and South Korea, and beyond that, a great leap for world peace. Mrs. Moon followed Reverend Moon, then myself, and finally the rest of the entourage.
Mr. Yoon Ki Bok, chairman of the Committee for Support of Koreans Living Overseas, embraced Reverend Moon in a gesture of welcome. Behind him stood Deputy Premier Kim Dal Hyon. Next to the deputy premier was a line of prominent figures from the North Korean Worker's Party and government officials, all of whom greeted Reverend Moon.
Mr. Yoon then led Reverend Moon over to where his family was waiting. A number of relatives were gathered there, including those he had last seen some forty-eight years earlier, such as his elder sister, Hyo Soon Moon (73), his younger sister Hyo Son Moon (64), his sister-in-law Chi Sook Ji (Reverend Moon's elder brother's wife, 69), and his nephew Byung Hyun Moon (49). They held on to Reverend Moon's sleeves and buried their faces against his chest, weeping loudly.
They had never expected to meet him again like this. It must have felt like a dream, and they were probably wondering how on earth this all came about. For Reverend Moon, too, it had been difficult to imagine that his longed-for family had been living all this time in the North. Moreover, we had heard that entire lineages of anti-communist leaders were annihilated in the North, but here was his elder sister, his younger sister, alive!
Reverend Moon comforted his weeping sisters and sister-in-law. "Don't be like that here, dears. Of course, it is important for us family to meet, but I came here to do God's work. I came here for our nation, so don't be like this. Please compose yourselves." Reverend Moon refrained from shedding even a single tear. Instead, he introduced first his wife and then the rest of our group.
After this family reunion, representatives of North Korea's children brought bouquets of flowers for Reverend and Mrs. Moon. No matter what the country, children are always a symbol of peace. Dressed in their uniforms, the children presented the flowers and made the characteristic North Korean bow. Reverend Moon was quite moved, and he had his picture taken with them.
North Korean Deputy Premier Kim Dal Hyon greeted Reverend Moon upon his arrival.
The cars that had come to meet us were lined up on the darkening airfield, waiting with engines running. With a police escort, Reverend and Mrs. Moon rode off in the first VIP vehicle, Mr. Rya Yool Kim and myself went in the second VIP car, and so on. The higher government and party officials, as well as the other greeters, followed. All of the automobiles were late-model Mercedes Benz luxury sedans. Pedestrians stopped and waved, although they didn't know who was riding in the cavalcade. I suppose they thought it was a visit by the president of some nation or other.
Downtown Pyongyang was dark, and the city was not easily seen. The procession finally arrived at the Moran Bong VIP accommodations. There are quite a number of VIP lodgings in North Korea, but the Moran Bong accommodations are the largest and most magnificent. We were told that the North Korean government had mobilized 150 staff members to provide Reverend Moon and his entourage with the best service possible, from meals and drivers to security and minor services such as laundry. Nothing was forgotten.
Mr. Yoon and Deputy Premier Kim followed us to the accommodations. After they arrived, we shared some light conversation together and they informed us that they would be taking us to the welcoming banquet after we had rested.
The banquet was held at the Mok Yeon Kwan hall, a reception center for state visitors and guests. The first order of business was a welcoming speech given by Mr. Yoon, who was also vice chairman of the Committee for Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland.
Mr. Yoon mentioned that it was truly a fine sight to see Reverend Moon's relatives at the banquet and that it was quite unusual. He explained that even he had been quite ignorant of Reverend Moon's trip to the North. Apparently Secretary Kim Jong Il had simply telephoned him that morning and instructed him to go to the airport to welcome Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church. I imagine he was thunderstruck.
In the end, it seems that the only people to have had prior knowledge of Reverend Moon's visit besides Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, were Deputy Premier Kim and Mr. Park. Even for the North, the whole project had been a stealth maneuver. They knew only too well that there was no way the visit could he realized except by such means.
On their arrival, they met a number of relatives whom Reverend Moon had last seen forty-eight years earlier.
Yet, to the North Koreans, the importance of Reverend Moon's visit was far greater than that of a foreign head of state, for example. No visiting head of state had ever had a specially designated aircraft sent to bring him to North Korea. Nor had any foreign head of state ever had two top officials of the Worker's Party accompany him and guide him around constantly as Committee Chairman Yoon and Deputy Premier Kim were doing now. Moreover, the official newspaper of the Worker's Party, the Worker's Daily, covered the movements of the Moon entourage in a special feature every day.
Amazingly enough, the Worker's Daily also printed the address that Reverend Moon gave at the welcoming banquet that evening. The title of his address was "Blood Is Thicker Than Water," and the Worker's Daily published it without so much as a single alteration. We later heard that apart from when China's Chairman Kang Tack Min visited, such a thing had never happened before.
Even more incredible is the fact that the word Hananim (Korean for God) was included in Reverend Moon's speech, as were other religious expressions like "prayer" and "the holy task of reunification," and so forth. Through this, the twenty-five million citizens of North Korea read the word "God" for the first time in over forty-six years, and through the Worker's Daily no less! This in itself qualifies as a historical landmark.
After Mr. Yoon's welcoming speech, Reverend Moon made his way to the podium in a solemn, dignified manner. This was to be his first public speech in North Korea.
Committee Chairman Yvon Ki Bok, Deputy Premier Kim Dal Hyon, distinguished guests:
Thank you so very much for this wonderful banquet that you have prepared here today for myself, my wife, and my entourage. It has been forty years since I was last here in Pyongyang. I can barely suppress my amazement at how the Pyongyang I once knew has developed into a world-class city.
Blood is thicker than water. All of us here are brothers and sisters. We share the same blood, and we have all experienced the same historical suffering. At this moment, I would like to express my deep thanks to President Kim Il Sung and Secretary Kim Jong Il, who have not only made it possible for me to return to my homeland in a gesture of humanitarian concern, hut who also arranged for my family and relatives to meet me at the airport upon my arrival. In particular, I am deeply grateful for the fact that President Kim arranged a special flight to bring me here from Beijing.
Dear brothers and sisters from the North! Today when I met with my family I felt not only joy, but also great sorrow. The reason, quite simply, is that there are 10 million of our fellow compatriots who still experience the division of their loving families along the lines of North and South, and who have as yet been unable to partake in the joy of reunion. I thought of the many countrymen and women who will die without having been able to meet their families. Never before have I felt so keenly that the tragedy of our national and ethnic division must be brought to an end as soon as possible.
As a homogenous people with a long and deep history, we have been proud of our splendid and noble culture for many years. Unfortunately, however, we have had to endure a state of division that was imposed upon us by foreign influences for some forty-six years. We can no longer afford to allow our destiny as a people to be decided by the influences of outside forces.
God is watching over us, and the time for us to find unification is coming closer. Unification is both the destiny of our people and the task before us in this era. If we are unable to accomplish in our time the reunification of our homeland, we will forever be unable to hold up our heads in front of our ancestors and descendants alike.
Our people, our seventy million citizens, must now come together in unity through dialogue and reconciliation, thus to advance toward our goal by overcoming all the obstacles that lie in our path. To do that, we must cooperate, and we must achieve an economic revitalization of our homeland at the same time. I myself am determined to give my life for the unification of our homeland. I intend to decide what I can do to help my brothers in the North after hearing any plans and ideas that President Kim and Secretary Kim may have.
I'm sure there is no need for me to say that my visit to North Korea and also my hometown has much significant meaning. On the occasion of this historical opportunity, I look forward to being able to meet the Honorable President Kim to both express my gratitude and also discuss deeply the unity of our people and the holy task of reunification.
In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast to the health of the Honorable Secretary Kim Jong Il and the fulfillment of the task of national reunification. Thank you very much.
(Translated from speech printed in the Worker's Daily, December I, 1991)
The audience listened thoughtfully. They were so quiet you could almost hear a pin drop. Although Reverend Moon's greeting was short, it contained some important content.
The North Korean officials were very moved. Perhaps it would be better to say that they breathed a sigh of relief. They had been anxious about just what Reverend Moon would have to say.
The ones who listened with the most interest were in fact President Kim Il Sung and Secretary Kim Jong Il. I imagine they watched and listened to the whole speech on videocassette. For them, this speech was their first real opportunity to get a feel of the love that Reverend Moon exudes. I'm sure they would have said something like, "Yes, there is something great about him."
My First Look at Pyongyang
The first of December was our second day in Pyongyang. It is Reverend Moon's custom to offer Kyung Bae Shik, a ceremony dedicating one's self to God, at five o'clock in the morning on the first day of every month. Accordingly, on December 1, all the members of our group gathered in Reverend Moon's bedroom at 5 AM. I imagine the eyes of the staff at the Moran Bong accommodations were wide with surprise. They must have wondered what on earth was going on.
Reverend Moon explained to us how the first Kyung Bae Shik in Pyongyang held a special providential significance, and he assigned to each and every person there a role representing a specific and special mission. His prayer that morning was a tearful prayer of petition, and it was permeated with an intense sense of the grace of God. He prayed to ask God to accomplish world peace through the unification of the Korean peninsula. There is no doubt in my mind that every moment was recorded by concealed microphones. If the authorities listened to that prayer with a sincere attitude, I'm sure it gave them another opportunity to realize just what kind of person Reverend Moon is.
After breakfast, we set out for a day of sightseeing in the city. For me it was the first time to ever see Pyongyang. The Dae Dong River, Mount Moran Bong, Uel Mil Dae -- there were so many places I had only heard of, so many places I had wanted to see.
The North Korean authorities were determined to show off Pyongyang to Reverend Moon. To them, Pyongyang is the holy city of the Juche ideology. It is also the masterpiece of President Kim Il Sung and Secretary Kim Jong Il. In particular, Kim Jong Il was responsible for the design and construction of the city. He wanted to display all his artistic sensibility and create a miracle along the banks of the Dae Dong River. He wanted to create a beautiful city, a work of art that would be praised throughout the world. To the citizens of North Korea, Pyongyang was the greatest of masterpieces, a city of weeping willows the likes of which could not be found anywhere else. To them, it was the greatest metropolis, the best capital city in the world. Indeed, for the North Korean people, it was natural to want to show off this "grand work of art by the Great Leader." They knew no city other than Pyongyang I guess you could call Pyongyang a museum. It was designed to show off the value of the Juche ideology and an ideal socialist system. And as a museum, it is splendid indeed. With the Tower of the Juche Idea rising up from the banks of the Dae Dong River at its center, the city is designed so that you can feel the influence and persona of the "Great Leader" wherever you are, in innumerable sculptures and bronze statues. Massive marble halls are so beautifully constructed you could imagine they took a thousand years to complete. The evidence of the blood, sweat and tears of the people is all too apparent.
The Monsudae Assembly Halls, built with native Korean marble, were truly a work of art. Then there was the bronze statue of Kim Il Sung that stood high above the Monsudae hill, and the Mahn Kyeung University Children's Palace, where young boys and girls (who the North Koreans call the "princes and princesses of the Republic") are schooled in the fine arts. There was the Pyongyang Arch of Triumph, which they say puts the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to shame, and the Pyongyang subway system, praised as the most beautiful subway in the world. All of the great plazas, the theaters and art galleries are enough to throw the first-time observer into a rapture.
At first observation, however, it is impossible to tell whether these features are for actual use by the people or are simply for display.
The North Koreans made their mistakes on a large scale, too. It was all very well to attempt to construct a 102-story hotel -- designed to be the tallest in the world -- but the Ryugyong Hotel that stands towering above the hills is a veritable modern-age dinosaur. I don't know whether they built it too fast, or if they ran out of funds, but whatever the reason, there was simply no way to hide that gigantic frame.
The North Korean authorities wanted to make sure Reverend Moon came to see the So Hae Kap (West Sea) Mun floodgate. They were very proud of themselves, saying that the So Hae Kap Mun was "a miracle of modern civil engineering" and "the solid and substantial fruits of socialism." The So Hae Kap Mun prevented flood damage and stopped the seawater from coming in, thus preserving the Dae Dong River and turning its basin into fertile land, a veritable treasure trove of cereals and vegetables. While Reverend Moon and the others went to look at the floodgate, Mr. Hyo Tool Kim and I stayed behind, being involved with other preparations.
Of course, the North Koreans didn't forget to guide us through the Reung Ra Do May 1st Stadium, which they boast is bigger than the Olympic Stadium in South Korea.
Later, as a change of pace, we decided to try the famous Pyongyang cold noodles at the Ok Ryu Kwan restaurant in downtown Pyongyang. (Translator's note: Cold noodles is a dish for which Pyongyang has been famous in Korea for hundreds of years. This dish is known as naeng myon in Korean.) Rather than a naeng myon restaurant, however, it would be more accurate to describe this place as a naeng myon palace.
After dinner in the evening, they took us to a movie theater located inside the VIP accommodations. There we viewed a film in which North Korean actors portrayed the history of the revolution.
In fact, however, the first place they had taken us that day was the birthplace of Kim Il Sung in Mahn Kyeung Dae, which is located in the western quarter of Pyongyang's central district. It is, as they say, the so-called cradle of revolution. There we finished up a whole book on the revolution's history, thanks to the efforts of an effusive and highly trained tour guide. Reverend Moon silently but courteously listened to the entire explanation.