Truth Is My Sword Volume I - Collected Speeches in the Public Arena

by Bo Hi Pak

Toward Economic Unity

June 17, 1986

These remarks by Dr. Pak were made at the Fourth HULA Conference in the Grand Ballroom of the Cartegena Hilton in Cartagena, Colombia, on June 17, 1986. Chaired by His Excellency Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, former president of Colombia, the conference dealt with the theme, "The Economic Challenge for the Unity of Latin America. "

Mr. Chairman, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen. It is my great honor to have this opportunity to express the warmest welcome to you all. I want to begin with an apology, which is that I will probably be the only English speaker to address you. My heart is Spanish but my mouth is Korean, although I do not worry much about this fact because I have a great interpreter.

You will be hearing excellent speeches during the next two days of this conference, and I do not intend to try and match the eloquence of those presentations. However, I would like to compliment you. Whenever I stand before a Spanish audience, I have to admire the eloquence of the Spanish people. So far I have not heard even one person who is not a great orator. That said, let me spend a few minutes offering a heartfelt welcome to the conference participants. Then I too want to enjoy the conference.

I greatly respect this congregation, which consists of such a distinguished group of people from the United States, Latin America, and Europe. As a Korean I want first of all to express my admiration and gratitude for the efforts of the valiant Colombian people who fought and shed their blood for my country and for Korean freedom. We owe you a great debt of gratitude. I was one of the many soldiers who fought in that war and perhaps, if not for you, I would not be here. My deepest thanks to you. I salute Colombia.

Like Ambassador Chaves, I also want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the hospitality shown by the wonderful city of Cartagena. This is my second visit to this great city. I first came here to attend the Sixth World Media Conference in 1983, and I now am aware that this beautiful convention center was built by President Turbay Ayala, our AULA president. I must confess that I have traveled to many great cities, but Cartagena has the best convention center in the world. Anything President Turbay does is first class: the convention center, Hilton hotel, AULA. This is the city of Simon Bolivar, and for that reason Cartagena is truly a most meaningful city in which to hold this AULA conference.

Bolivar's House

When Reverend Moon came here in 1983, he made a generous gift to the mayor of Cartagena for the restoration of Bolivar's home and for its transformation into a museum, most notably for the realization of his everlasting ideal of South American unity. I am deeply touched by Bolivar's dream, and I intend to visit the museum.

You may ask why Reverend Moon, Ambassador Han, and myself, as Asians, are interested in Latin American unity. Very simply, we believe in the unity of all peoples regardless of race, color, or language. World unity is not a luxury anymore; we must have unity in order to survive. We all must help and contribute as much as possible toward the realization of that goal and, with all our hearts and minds, toward the unity of Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The world is getting smaller every day. Beyond even the unity of Latin America, we believe in world unity. I may not see that day in my lifetime, but it does not matter, since the dream of Simon Bolivar lives on beyond his death. We are working toward the great dream, the great ideal of one family on earth.

Therefore, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude on behalf of Reverend Moon, Ambassador Han, and myself for being given the opportunity to work toward the betterment of Latin America. I am overjoyed to see the great success you have achieved with AULA in such a short time.

Finally, I want to mention that we are working toward greater cooperation between the two countries of Colombia and Korea, and this is evidenced by a Korean fleet of 45 fishing boats now anchored off the Atlantic coast of Colombia. A business relationship has been established between our two countries, and I am serving as president of the Korean side of the arrangement. So I am very pleased to be visiting the Colombian side at this time.

In our presence is a great Colombian. I respect him for his abilities and I thank him for his love of my country. He is Rafael Espinoso, the president of Vikingo of Colombia. I also want to recognize a person from my own country, Ambassador Sang Kook Han. Ambassador Han is the executive vice president of The Washington Times and someone who works closely with me in all areas of our work, including AULA. Let me also recognize a distinguished Hispanic-American, Ambassador Phillip Sanchez, the president of CAUSA USA.

I am leaving the conference in the able hands of President Turbay. Thank you very much. Muchas gracias.

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