Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Peter Kim
True Parents in North Korea
"This report is a combination of excerpts from transcripts of verbal reports given by Peter Kim and Dr. Bo Hi Pak."
At 1:12 p.m. on November 30, 1991 True Parents left Beijing Airport on Kim Il Sung's personal jet. A government official flew with us. Originally Father wanted to take 30 people, as a kind of security in a way. But suddenly they trimmed our numbers to only Koreans. I [Peter Kim] felt a little fear at that time. Father was sitting there smiling, looking out the window. It was very emotional when we crossed the Yalu River. I had never seen this river.
At 3:30 p.m. we arrived in Pyongyang. I ended up having to be the cameraman. North Korean newspapers and television reporters were there, as was Deputy Prime Minister Kim. He is a very powerful man in North Korea now, right under Kim Jong Il, the president's son and General-Secretary of the Communist Party. Also present was Mr. Yoon, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and one of the top six people in the country.
Chairman Yoon later said that even he did not know of Father's arrival until midnight the night before. Kim Jong Il called him very late and told him to welcome Rev. Moon and to be one of the official hosts.
Father met Mr. Yoon first and I am sure almost cracked his hand. In the past, Chairman Yoon hated Father so much. His job was to come up with strategies for reunifying Korea. He published many books on "Juche" ideology. He helped produce some of their intelligence studies on Father. Father gave him a big strong handshake.
Father was also greeted by his elder sister Hyo Soon Moon, age 73, another sister Hyo Sun Moon, age 64, Father's elder brother's wife Chi Chee Sook, age 69, his brother's elder son, age 49, and a cousin. There were seven relatives in all. They were so happy and shocked. They cried. Father almost cried but he did not show tears.
Almost his first words to them were: "I love you very much and missed you so much, but I have come here to work for the unification of our country, not just to see my family. Please don't cry. Please calm down." They continued to cry a little, but organized themselves according to his wishes.
We traveled to Moran Bong, State Guest House, reserved for kings and heads of state. In Moscow, the police cleared the way for Father's motorcade, but in Pyongyang all cars, in all directions, stopped respectfully while the motorcade passed.
Father met with Chairman Yoon for about 30 minutes. He said, "Rev. Moon, I respect you, but I never thought about inviting you to North Korea because you always criticized us. I only greeted you because I was ordered to." He was testing Father. Father gave him a huge smile.
They escorted Father and Mother to their suite so they could refresh themselves. That evening True Parents went to a welcoming reception. In spite of his initial hostility earlier that afternoon, Chairman Yoon offered warm and sincere remarks of welcome. "Let's forget about the past," he said. "Without our unified motherland, we have no life. We have no happiness." Father gave a short speech highlighted by a catch-phrase he would use throughout the trip:
"Blood is thicker than water. I truly love the 20 million people of North Korea."
Early morning call
We all went to bed. At 3 a.m. there was a knock on Dr. Pak's door. It was the editor-in-chief of North Korea's only newspaper, "Rodong Shinmun." He asked if he could have a copy of Father's earlier speech for re-printing in tomorrow's edition. Kim Il Sung had heard a report about the speech and had made a late-night call to the editor to say he wanted it in the national newspaper the next day. He did not want to awaken Father so early to ask his permission directly.
Dr. Pak said he would ask Father. He shut the door briefly and prayed about what to do. His only worry was that they might edit the speech in some way to create problems for Father. It was 3 a.m. and Dr. Pak didn't want to wake him either, so he decided to take responsibility for it. He opened the door and said okay.
They printed it all, word for word, including the instances where Father spoke about God. This was the first time God had been mentioned in the North Korean press, and it was printed in such a loving context, too, on this first occasion. Just to print the word "God" is a risky thing for an editor to do in North Korea.
At 9 a.m. Chairman Yoon came to guide us in sightseeing that day. All North Koreans learn from an early age that Rev. Moon is a monster. So our hosts must have expected Father to act with some hostility toward them as well. Father said he didn't really want to sight-see but would much rather see Kim Il Sung's birthplace.
The site of the Great Leader's birth is to them what Jerusalem is to Christians. Yoon's eyes lit up and beamed a big smile when Father gave his request. He told me later that this is what he really wanted to show us but he was afraid Father might reject such a suggestion. When Father asked to see it, Yoon was overjoyed.
Ideology We also saw their parliament building. We were led into a big meeting hall. Even though the previous evening Yoon had said "let's forget the past," he began to test Father once again. He began to preach "juche" or "self-reliance" ideology to us in a not-very-friendly manner.
When he finished, Father stood up before speaking. They motioned to the effect that it was not necessary to stand, but he waved them off. Father knew that by standing up to speak, they could not as easily interrupt. Such an act also dominates the spirit of the room. Father began to preach straight TRUE LOVE. He spoke of the end of left-wing and right-wing and their replacement by head-wing. It was exactly like a Sunday morning Belvedere sermon, complete with Father's admonitions about the proper use of breasts and sex organs. Yoon and his assistants sat transfixed and listened.
Then Father requested that Mr. Yoon speak to Kim Il Sung and recommend that President Kim place a large announcement in the North Korean newspaper instructing that all the spies who have been sent into South Korea, and are now there, should surrender themselves to Rev. Moon and be educated by his headwing ideology. Yoon was dumbfounded.
This night, Dec. 1, was the biggest night of entertainment. The government really prepared to welcome Father and the emcee of the entertainment gave a long and warm greeting to Father and Mother. The quality of the performance, acrobatics, dance, etc., was absolute perfection.
During the entertainment, Deputy Prime Minister Kim sent a message to Dr. Pak saying that he and Mr. Yoon would like to continue their discussion the following day and added, "please don't bring Rev. Moon." The message tried to convince Dr. Pak that the reason was simply that Rev. Moon was far too important a person for them to be engaged in discussions with. The real reason, of course, was because Father had given them such a bad time and had spoken so many shocking things, that Yoon and Kim feared for their careers, and even their lives, because they knew everything Father said was being sent to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
"I must teach"
Dr. Pak told Father about their request at the breakfast table the next morning. Father said, "No, I must teach them." He went to the meeting and took a speech he had written in Hawaii--the one he had meant to share with Kim Il Sung alone. He shared the contents with Deputy Prime Minister Kim and his assistants who attended the meeting instead. Among the key points:
"I will initiate actions and activities and Kim Il Sung and South Korean President should work under me as my deputies." Nobody could stop True Father at that point. DPM Kim was beside himself with fear. They could envision themselves standing before a firing squad because they knew every word was being taped and reports were sent directly to Kim Il Sung. They didn't say anything, thinking that if they remained quiet, maybe Father would finish quickly. After Father finished, they sent him and Mother sightseeing. Dr. Pak and I stayed behind to deal with Kim's anger. At this point they even threatened Father: "We cannot guarantee Rev. Moon's plane will land safely in Beijing." Now Dr. Pak and Peter Kim were scared. In addition, the chance for Father to meet Kim Il Sung had become very slim indeed.
The secret police had reported everything about all their meetings to Kim Il Sung, but instead of making him hostile, his curiosity was piqued. Around midnight on Dec. 2, he instructed Yoon to set up the meeting.
The next morning they told us to wear our best clothes. We flew to Diamond Mountain, one of the most beautiful and scenic spots in the world. The area has many mountain peaks and 22 valleys, each one unique in its character. It takes one full day to enjoy the unimaginable beauty of each valley. A person needs three or four weeks to enjoy all of them. The mountain resort area is 64 kilometers by 40 kilometers, with waterfalls, hot springs and beaches nearby.
Even as we hiked up and down the mountain trails, Father continually lectured Kim and his assistants. Later Kim told us that after we returned home that day, he sent his message immediately to Kim Il Sung's senior staff and strongly urged them not to let President Kim meet with Rev. Moon. "Such a meeting would be totally inappropriate," the Deputy Prime Minister insisted. The meeting, originally scheduled for late that afternoon, was canceled.
The following day, Dec. 5, Father, Mother and everyone went to visit Father's hometown. The government provided two helicopters, one for Father's party and one for the North Korean media. We landed on an elementary school playground in his hometown. Hundreds of people, including Father's relatives, were waiting to greet us and the Mercedes-Benzes were there also. Father had to keep telling his relatives not to cry.
Father's birth home was originally a square-shaped structure, but the wings of the house had been destroyed by bombs during the war and were never rebuilt. Father and Mother went inside and prayed. "This house used to be so big," Father remarked, "and now it's so small." He pointed to one small window that he used to climb in and out of when he was little. Even in this setting, Father could not just relax and enjoy the flood of memories. He was always mindful of his public mission. Soon they went outside.
Every Korean Unification Church member knows the story of how Father used to climb a cliff near his home and catch kingfisher birds. I saw one red-soil cliff about a kilometer from the house and I pointed to it and asked Father if that was where he used to catch the birds. Father said it was, although some of the height of the cliff had been reduced by bombing.
Father visited his parents' graves. The government had re-sodded the mounds and put new headstones on them. Before Father arrived, hundreds of people had been mobilized to build a new road to the village and to repair and repaint Father's home. I was so sad that there was no way for us to get any fruit or rice cake to put on the graves of Father's parents. All they had were two small bouquets of flowers. You have all heard how much Father's mother loved her son and how her life was devoted to him. At the graveside, Father's elder sister spoke to their mother's grave: "Mama, your son Yong Myung whom you loved so much has finally come home. Please wake up, Mama." It was a very tender moment.
Father had lunch in his cousin's house. He gave them many gifts and also gave some to the local government officials who attended the lunch to observe and give a report to the government afterward.
Kim Il Sung
Meanwhile, Kim Il Sung had heard about the last-minute cancellation of his meeting with Father and was getting irritated with his staff. "Re-schedule that meeting!" he ordered. "I want to see him and I want to have lunch with him as well." As soon as we returned from there to Pyongyang Airport, we boarded a light plane with Yoon and Kim and were taken to Hamheung City. We land and were driven to a state guest house near where Kim Il Sung was staying.
The next day Father, Mother, and Dr. and Mrs. Pak were taken to see Kim Il Sung. The rest of us followed in a bus 30 minutes later. On the way to see Pres. Kim we drove right past the Hungnam prison and fertilizer plant. By heavenly coincidence, Pres. Kim was staying near the place where Father spent two years and eight months in the North Korean prison.
Father walked into the presidential palace and boldly strode up to Pres. Kim. He grabbed his hand in a firm handshake and then put his arms around Kim Il Sung in a big, embracing bear hug. He greeted Pres. Kim like a long-lost brother and smacked him on the back with his hands when they embraced.
Father and Pres. Kim met in a large room. On one side of the table were Kim Il Sung, Chairman Yoon and Deputy Prime Minister Kim. On the other side of the table were Father, Mother, Dr. Pak and Mrs. Pak. Yoon and Kim were really scared, but Father was so diplomatic in this meeting. Three times during his talk, Kim Il Sung spontaneously applauded and said, "Thank you." Father also praised Yoon and Kim in front of Pres. Kim for their hard work. Later, when we spoke to Yoon and Kim, they said the North Korean equivalent of "Thank God." Their attitude to Father from that moment on was as if he had saved their lives.
Father and Kim Il Sung discussed their mutual love of fishing. Father invited him to catch 300-pound halibut in Kodiak and Pres. Kim quietly asked an aide, "Are there fish that big?" The president asked about Father's hometown and his boyhood home. Father thanked him for fixing it up so nicely and said it was just as he remembered it, except for the two wings that were destroyed in war. Pres. Kim said, "We will restore it the way it was."
After dinner, True Father and Kim Il Sung held hands as they walked down the long hallway. Pres. Kim's staff members were totally shocked to see the president and Father holding hands. They went to another room for photographs. The next day, the Pyongyang paper carried, across the top of the front page, a large photo of Father and Kim Il Sung holding hands with big smiles on their faces. Later, our newspaper in Seoul, "Segye Times", carried the same photo in color.
The next day, Father and Mother visited the children's palace for a special performance. Again, the technical quality of the performance was excellent, far superior even to the Little Angels. The quality of love was not there, as it is when the Little Angels perform, but their discipline was impressive.
That evening, Father hosted a farewell banquet for about 100 guests. In his closing remarks, Father made reference to his first public speech of a few days before:
"When I spoke the evening we arrived, I observed that blood is thicker than water. Yes, blood is indeed thicker than water--but love is thicker than blood."
Father then turned what had been a rather formal banquet into a family night when he asked Mr. Yoon to sing a song. Yoon sang a love song to his wife. He has an excellent voice and his own staff member was so surprised to see this aspect of his character. Then he sang another.
Won Ju McDevitt got up to sing and melted everyone's heart with a sincere and gracious thank-you to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Then Mother got up to sing "Ka Go Pa." Her presence was so motherly, and the song filled the room with the spirit of True Mother. Father asked Deputy Prime Minister Kim to sing and his voice was remarkably good. Kim occasionally competes in amateur singing contests in North Korea. Finally, Father got up to sing. His song, "Tae Han Pal Gyung," is about the eight wonders of Korean natural beauty. North and South Koreans alike can love this song. The banquet became a true family night and the spirit was so high. On another occasion, when we were on a bus with North Korean officials, we all sang "Tongil" together.
The next morning, Dec. 7, they showed Father and Mother their beautiful subway, which is built 300 feet underground--even deeper than the St. Petersburg subway. In Pyongyang there are only two churches operating--a Protestant and a Catholic church. Father asked to visit both. At each one he held hands with the minister and prayed, and gave a donation when he left. Everywhere we went, of course, there were always several officials whose only job was to take notes on everything Father said or did or looked at, and whom he spoke to.
All this had to be noted in detail and reported back to Kim Il Sung and the North Korean intelligence agencies. So when Father was praying in each of the churches, one official leaned in very close and put his ear next to Father's mouth and wrote down notes as Father prayed. He even had to report the content of Father's conversation with God!
As we were departing each of the churches, one of the intelligence agents hurriedly asked the minister to open the envelope Father had given him so he could report the amount of the donation.
Another interesting occurrence is that on the morning we left to return to Beijing, our breakfast consisted of lentil porridge, the exact same food for which Esau sacrificed his blessing by selling his birthright to Jacob. Only this time Esau was serving the food to Jacob with nothing asked in return.
Dr. Pak's report
Father visited the tomb of his mother and father. They quickly made tombstones with dates. Father presented flowers and said a prayer. Father's sister cried out, "Father and mother, your son is here. Please see him." Father held back his emotion.
This is Father's mother who came to Hungnam prison by walking--the distance by flying would be 40 minutes' away [Dr. Pak cried as he told this story.] Father was in rags. He gave away the food and clothes brought by his mother. Her heart was broken. Father said, "Don't think I am an ordinary son." She would go home rejected. Then a few months later she did it again. At the tomb Father and Mother touched the site. Father prayed, "Now you know who I am and why I did what I had to do."
Most important is how you die, not how you live. Father said Kim Il Sung has leadership qualities. He has wisdom, virtue, good speaking abilities, very impressive. True Parent meets false parent. Only history can tell. But by this condition, like Esau, Kim Il Sung subjugated himself. He treated Father as the greatest VIP. Personally, I cannot hate him. No head of state in the free world has done this. The last shall be first, says the Bible.
Father was given welcome banquet the night of arrival. He responded with a one-hour speech. It was a smashing hit. They loved it. His speech was read by the Great Leader and the Dear Leader. He liked it very much. He called his people, "Why not print the whole speech? They had planned to print only excerpts.
At 3 a.m, they called Dr. Pak by direction of the Great Leader. "Will you allow us to print it?" They asked permission. I hesitated because I was worried about Kim Il Sung's reaction. But Father's remarks were innocent. He spoke of patriotism, brotherhood and unification.
At 12:30 p.m., Father arrived. Kim Il Sung opened the doors. He's a big and healthy man. They shook hands, bear-hugged. Same height, stocky. He genuinely welcome Father. Kim Il Sung said, "Let us forget the past. Most important is now and the future."
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