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

by Bo Hi Pak

Welcoming Remarks in Honor of DPRK Delegation

February 24, 1995

In the following remarks, Dr. Pak, as co-chairman of the Federation for World Peace, welcomes a North Korean delegation led by Ambassador Li Jong Hook of the (North) Korean Committee for Peace in Asia and the Pacific. The meeting was attended by a number of high-level experts on Korea and other dignitaries. The meeting bore witness to the great strides that Reverend Moon had made in fostering communication between North and South Korea. The dinner meeting was held February 24, 1995, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Li, delegation members, and distinguished guests. It is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome the delegation of the Korean Committee for Peace in Asia and the Pacific from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to Washington, D.C.

I am especially delighted to welcome Ambassador Li Jong Hyok, representing the chairman of the KCPAP, Secretary Kim Yong Sun. Ambassador Li established an inseparable bond with the delegation of former presidents and prime ministers from the Summit Council for World Peace who visited the DPRK last April. He poured out his energies day and night to ensure that our delegation's visit would be a total success. Indeed, our delegation was privileged to meet with H.E. President Kim Il Sung, and Ambassador Li painstakingly introduced each member to the president, explaining in considerable detail every member's accomplishments. Moreover, Ambassador Li worked tirelessly to facilitate the unprecedented and historic television news reporting by CNN, which accompanied our delegation. Ambassador Li, we welcome you as an old friend.

My dear Korean compatriots, much has happened since our visit last April. You and your countrymen have been through the greatest national sorrow with the untimely death of your great president.

Our executive director, Mr. Antonio Betancourt, and I had the special honor to attend the funeral of H.E. President Kim Il Sung to pay our condolences. It was a heartwarming special privilege that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

His beloved son, H.E. Kim Jong 11, the supreme commander, is now assuming all the responsibilities of national leadership. Moreover, an historic accord was signed last October between the DPRK and the United States called the Agreed Framework. Upon the foundation of this accord, I see a new era opening up for the DPRK that will bring peace, development, and prosperity to all the nations of Northeast Asia. Moreover, I have greater hope than ever before for the peaceful reunification of our fatherland in the not too distant future.

Despite the enormity of events that have occurred in the last ten months, we come together as dear friends as if hardly a day has past. On behalf of the co-chairmen of the Federation for World Peace, the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, I want to do everything possible to make your stay in Washington as productive and enjoyable as possible. The very least I could do was to arrange this special banquet in one of Washington's most distinguished hotels to honor our guests from the DPRK.

I am especially heartened by the presence of so many guests here tonight who are experts in Korean affairs. In particular, and for the benefit of our visiting delegation, I wish to acknowledge the presence of our guests from the State Department: Mr. Jeff Goldstein, North Korean desk officer from the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Dr. John Merrily Asian affairs analyst with the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

From the private sector, I warmly welcome Mr. Selig Harrison, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and one of our nation's foremost authorities on nuclear nonproliferation and East and South Asian affairs; Mr. Robert Warne, president of the Korea Economic Institute of America, accompanied by Mr. Gordon Flake, director of Research; Dr. John K.C. Oh, professor of political science at Catholic University, and his lovely wife, Dr. Bonnie Oh, distinguished research professor of Korean studies at Georgetown University; Mr. David Kim, Washington director of the Korea Society; Dr. Stephen Noerper, Washington director of the Nautilus Institute; and Mr. Scott Snyder, program associate from the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Moreover, let me welcome one of Japan's premier authorities on Korea, Dr. Hajime Izumi, professor of political science at the University of Shizuoka.

Let me also welcome my old friend, Dr. Robert Grant, president of the American Freedom Coalition, who with the late Congressman Richard Ichord, led a delegation of former U.S. congressmen and governors to the DPRK in 1992. And, I welcome Mr. Gary Jarmin, who has worked handin-hand with Dr. Grant for many years.

Let me also recognize Mr. Park Sang Kwon, who has just returned from Pyongyang where he attended the birthday celebration of H.E. Kim Jong Il. Mr. Park is the secretary general of the Federation for World Peace and the president of the Kumgansan International Group, a most ambitious project to develop the Diamond Mountain region. Also, let me introduce Mrs. Hyobon Robbins, executive vice president of Panda Motors Corporation.

From the world of journalism, let me introduce Mrs. Josette Shiner, managing editor of The Washington Times, who twice interviewed the late President Kim Il Sung; and Mr. Shin Sang-in, Washington correspondent of the Segye Ilbo newspaper in Seoul.

Finally, let me introduce my eldest daughter, Ms. Grace ParkeFremlin, of the law firm Graham and James.

In conclusion, Ambassador Li, I don't take your visit as a rare and fleeting occasion. Rather, in anticipation of the new era for the DPRK of which I spoke, I expect to see you as a frequent visitor to Washington. Moreover, I hope that it will be true for the Chairman of the Korean Committee for Peace in Asia and the Pacific, Secretary Kim Yong Sun.

It is the Summit Council's purpose and goal to promote peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia, and especially in the Korean peninsula. I know that each and every one of you, in your own way, is striving to achieve that noble goal as well. May I congratulate everyone in this room tonight for their outstanding contributions in helping create a favorable atmosphere for the improvement of U.S.-DPRK relations.

Thank you very much.

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