Unification News for November 2002

A Peace Visit To North Korea

by Younjung Lee

October in the Korean Peninsula is very cold. It’s not just the cold days when the temperature suddenly drops, but the political temperature is dropping too, what with recent revelations of nuclear development in North Korea. Yet on the other hand a calm and heartwarming movement for peace on the Korean peninsula is taking place with the Peace Motors Industry Inspection Team visits to North Korea.

A number of World CARP Korea members had the opportunity to take the trip last month. The first delegation of 100 people visited North Korea from October 19th with a second group to follow.

The group is traveling as the ‘Tourist Group from the Federation for World Peace’ The name comes from Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s historic visit to North Korea eleven years ago in November 1991. The relationship created back then with the late Kim Il Sung grew to become a mutual relationship of trust. The name indicates that the inspection team is an object of trust, something rather new for this part of the world.

Generally, whenever South Koreans visit North Korea, at least two North Koreans accompany each person. However, when our inspection team visited, the total sum of 10 guides accompanied 100 people, a more normal ration. In the past, visitors to North Korea often felt annoyed and uncomfortable with the stifling regulations.

However, most of the people from this inspection team group were surprised because they were treated with more freedom and convenience than they expected.

Peace Motors President Park Sangkwon said, "The reason for this treatment is to show you how stable the business foundation is between North and South Korea that of the Peace Motors Industry, under the name of Federation for World Peace. We have a lot of trust in the South Koreans who entered our country with us."

The main schedule of the ‘Peace Motors Industry Inspection Team’ is, of course, to inspect the general factory of Peace Motors, which is located in Nampo city. We duly inspected the assembly factory and repair factory, which stands on ground directly designated by Kim Jong Il. Production started this April, and at present, there are about 300 hundred completed orders. Of course, cars are still very rare in North Korea.

But there was much more to the trip than factory visits. A real highlight was the visit to the birthplace and boyhood home of rev. Sun Myung Moon, which is located about fifty miles from the capital in North Pyung An Province. The group had a deeply significant time to pray there and make offerings for peace. Also, they had the opportunity to meet and talk with Rev. Moon’s younger sister, who lives nearby.

We also visited MyoHyang mountain, Kim Il Song’s birthplace, a stunning circus, the Changkwang Nursery School and also the ‘juvenile palace of managing college students.’ Yet the visit was not just a simple tour. Everyone who went agreed that there was much learned through this visit.

Professor Kim Donggyu from Korea University, said, "I am seeing and learning things that are priceless." Another visitor, a school Principal agreed, saying "I never knew that Rev. Moon had established such a tremendous foundation here in North Korea. I hope for many more interactions among our schools."

The cold air still covers the Korean peninsula. Despite little change in America’s diplomatic stance towards North Korea, interactions between the North and South as the inspection team of Peace Motors, are the best hope for peace on the peninsula.

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