FOLLOW US

FacebookInstagramYoutubeLinkedinFlickr

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

September 2021
S M T W T F S
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 1 2

ILC2021 North America Executive Summary

USA-2021-07-29-ILC2021 North America Executive Summary

North America—ILC2021 (July 13 & 27-29, 2021), webcast worldwide, was the second of three to be held this summer. This ILC was focused on Track II Diplomacy, humanitarian aid, NGOs and people-to-people engagement, including Faith-Based Organizations. The topics of each session allowed for new and fresh insights into the possibilities of building a common base of collaboration between North Korea (DPRK), the United States and South Korea (ROK). Medical equipment such as CAT scan and MRI machines have been shipped all over the world by Project C.U.R.E., including 8 trips into North Korea. We learned that at this time Project C.U.R.E. only goes to nations in which the Head of State has formally invited them. UPF has an opportunity here to reach the President of the DPRK, seeking an invitation to Project C.U.R.E. and Dr. James Jackson and Dr. Doug Jackson to send urgently needed medical equipment to North Korea to alleviate the suffering of their people.

By focusing on diplomacy as “soft power,” many new streams of experts have now come into the ILC family. One example is Mr. Jacco Zwetsloot, a journalist for the DongA Ilbo and NK News in Seoul, who has a podcast that is very popular in South Korea. His presentation shed light on information that we had not seen before, such as the statistics of what the people of South and North Korea think about reunification, according to varying ages and demographics. It was interesting that the overwhelming majority in the North and the South clearly desire reunification. However, they don’t desire it now because it’s too complicated. They all agree that it should be sometime in the future. One key issue that came up was the fact that the vision of unification of North and South Korea is shared by the leadership in the South and North as well as by allies such as the United States. However, the character of that vision is starkly divided on the peninsula in that the North would desire a unified Korea with Kim Jong Un in a position similar to that of a monarch, while in the South they want a democratically elected leadership.

Other sessions, such as Peace Road, led by UPF USA Executive Vice President Rev. Zagery Oliver, gave a very unique perspective from UPF Russia that showed their trip to North Korea and the half marathon (13 miles) they sponsored in Pyongyang. In addition, Dr. Thomas Walsh presented a fascinating perspective on the International Peace Highway and the fact that the desire for connectivity has been going on for millennia. As True Father mentioned in his autobiography, the Silk Road and intercontinental roads have always been pursued by mankind. Now China is pursuing the “One Belt, One Road” which is not the same as Peace Road. Peace Road is explicitly for the promotion of international exchange through tourism and peace efforts and will not be allowed to be a transport system for military equipment. One key to the whole project is the proposed tunnel between Japan and Korea and the bridge and tunnel between Russia and Alaska through the Bering Strait.

The culture and arts session was a deep and moving experience provided by the presenters on the incredible power of performing arts and culture to establish common ground between North and South Korea. Mr. David Eaton’s presentation highlighted True Mother’s vision for the performing arts. He reviewed how it has been fundamental in the philosophy for thousands of years to bring nations together, and now True Parents are implementing it. Also, Maya Yamada demonstrated the power of dance and careful love and communication to help people with disabilities. Ms. Yamada has been deaf since she was five years old. However, her astonishing clarity of diction and leadership skills helped her develop the ability to overcome almost impossible odds to completely be a successful educator and leader in the university and in the arts and culture. Many participants cried during her presentation.

Dr. No Hi Pak gave a detailed report on the groundbreaking trip made by the Little Angels as the first performing arts group to go to North Korea from the ROK since the Korean War. It highlighted the vast influence and vision of True Mother and True Father of total engagement of every aspect of human interest with the objective of reaching the hearts of people. This exchange worked to keep the door of communication open between our foundation and key people in North Korea.

The religious sector was covered by IAPD, led by UPF USA Senior Vice-President Mrs. Tomiko Duggan, and was deeply relevant as Christians filled with love reported how they are taking care of refugees coming out of North Korea. There were testimonies from Archbishop Stallings and others as to their prayers at the DMZ with clergy that visibly changed the atmosphere, and with the 80,000 gathered in the World Cup Stadium for the 2017 Rally for the Reunification of Korea with True Mother, we saw that North and South Korea took down the barriers and both participated in the Seoul Winter Olympics. From that point dialogue began. Also, we do not think it’s a coincidence that the lines of communication between North and South Korea were re-opened after a year of silence on the very day we were holding the ILC throughout the world.

We wish to express our gratitude to Congressman Burton, Dr. Walsh, and all the UPF North America team. We sincerely thank our True Mother for this historic step forward through building Think Tank 2022 with the experts needed to open the doors of friendship beyond the realm of politics and external diplomacy to the realm of internal diplomacy of the heart.

Video links:

Opening and Session 2: NGO Initiatives in Peace-Building (IAAP)

Session 3: The Role of Faith Leaders in Track II Diplomacy (IAPD)

Session 4: Building Bridges of Peace through Culture & Arts (IAACP)

Session 5: Paving the Pathway for Peace with Peace Road (Peace Road 2021)

Session 6: Youth Initiatives Toward Peace (IAYSP)

Session 7: Closing Session: Summary and Recommendations

Session 8: Humanitarian / Private Sector Initiative (IAED)

Session 9: Communication Media Perspectives (IMAP)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

10:00 AM- 10:30 AM
Session 1: Opening Session
(click for video)

  • Kaeleigh Moffitt, Congressional Liaison, UPF USA (Moderator)
  • Michael Jenkins, President, Universal Peace Federation International
  • The Work of the Universal Peace Federation (video)
  • Dan Burton, U.S. House of Representatives (R-IN) (1983 -2013), Co-Chairman, International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)
  • Luonne Rouse, Co-Chairman, American Clergy Leadership Conference

10:30-11:20 AM
Session 2: NGO Initiatives in Peace-Building (IAAP) (click for video)

  • Staffan Berg, Coordinator, International Association of Academicians for Peace, USA (Moderator & Session Coordinator)
  • Genie Kagawa, Director, Executive Office, UPF International
  • Tomiko Duggan, Senior Vice President, UPF USA
  • James Jackson, Project C.U.R.E. - Serving the World with Medical Equipment

Session Report

Mrs. Genie Kagawa spoke on how the Co-Founders of IAPP, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, viewed the United Nations when they founded IAPP in 1994. There was a great deal of contention on every international issue following the disaster of 9/11 in 2001, and it was doubted by many that any kind of harmony within this international organization could ever be achieved. IAPP encouraged the UN to adopt a vision of renewal that would include cooperation among religious leaders and organizations at the UN, as a complement to the political interests. The Moons proposed the creation of an upper body at the UN, composed of religious leaders.

Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General (1997-2006) made effort to bring NGOs into the picture to be part of the problem-solving equation. Former Philippine Speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia, was asked to be co-chair of IAPP to help advance the cause of religious representation at the UN. Mrs. Kagawa outlined the many steps in trying to get other nations to sign on as co-sponsors of a UN call for promotion of interreligious cooperation at the UN. Finally, a brief, one-paragraph resolution was passed in the General Assembly. Twenty-three nations signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution, which was introduced in slightly more comprehensive forms year after year. Finally in 2009, 63 nations co-sponsored the resolution and it passed. Now, talk of interfaith dialogue as a solution to conflict is routinely spoken about on the floor of the General Assembly and has become a best practice in relation to religion at the UN.


Mrs. Tomiko Duggan related that she had two Korean classmates in her sixth-grade class in Japan. One student’s family went to North Korea, deceived by DPRK propaganda, and was never able to return to Japan. Mrs. Duggan went to North Korea twice and saw the very difficult living conditions there. She recounted the life-long efforts of Rev. and Dr. Moon (who both escaped from North Korea to the South during the Korean War) to restore relationships with the North. She testified to the actions and words of the Moons to develop programs with faith leaders who can work to engage the North in dialogues of “soft power,” rather than government relations. As Senior Vice President of UPF-USA, Mrs. Duggan currently organizes weekly forums for interfaith leaders to pray for the nation and the world.

Mrs. Duggan cautioned against trying to rely on secular power alone. She laid out four steps or principles that need to be enacted in our relations with North Korea.

  1. We must prevent war.
  2. We must promote track-two, non-governmental dialogues and cultural exchanges on the people-to-people level, and also engage in projects of humanitarian aid.
  3. We must work to narrow the economic and prosperity gap with North Korea by education in principles of how wealth is created.
  4. We must continue to deliver the message of creating peace through (in the words of Universal Peace Federation) “interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values.”

Dr. James Jackson, in a video presentation, said he connected to North Korea via their UN Ambassador. One of the diplomats communicated to him that North Korea needs everything in terms of medical aid. His organization’s first donation was a half-million dollars in medical equipment. The UN ambassadors from DPRK were amazed. “No one has ever done this for us,” one said. Dr. Jackson was invited to attend Kim Il-Sung’s 81st birthday celebration Pyongyang on April 15, 1993.

Dr. Jackson emphasized that nothing will be developed in North Korea unless it is done on the foundation of relationships. He said, “They will test you, but my final word is to make relationships. Do what you’re doing, and go in with a heart to help. If you do, your help with make a difference.”

1:00- 2:10 PM
Session 3: The Role of Faith Leaders in Track II Diplomacy (IAPD)
(click for video)

  • Tomiko Duggan, Senior Vice President, UPF USA (Moderator & Session Coordinator)
  • Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Chairman, IAPD North America
  • Thomas Ward, President, Unification Theological Seminary
  • Suzanne Sholte, President, Defense Forum Foundation
  • Fariborz (Frank) Sepehrnia, TV host, Islamic Society of Orange County

Session Report

Dr. Thomas Ward, President of the Unification Theological Seminary, introduced himself as seminary-educated and employed, but speaking from the perspective of his career in public and international affairs. For 12 years until 2018 he oversaw several graduate-level programs which interfaced with the United Nations, and 20 or more of his former students are currently career employees at the UN.

He clarified that when speaking about diplomacy, we refer to multitrack diplomacy: Track I which is government to government; Track 1.5 which is unofficial meetings that involve government staff; Track II which normally involves former officials and non-government persons and organizations and has a specific target for its purpose; and Track III which is people to people. Dr. Ward’s remarks pertained to the role of Track II diplomacy in Korean unification.

Dr. Ward related that the Community of Saint Egidio, a religious community, was identified by the US Institute of Peace as playing a very important role in mediating conflicts, the most important being the civil war in Mozambique. The only group trusted by the warring groups was this Community of Saint Egidio because it took care of the necessary social services, provided food, and cared for children, without a partisan consideration. Confidence in them allowed them to facilitate a peace that lasted for 25 years. As a result, they have been called upon to play a central role in conflict resolution in over 15 countries in Africa – for example, in the civil war in South Sudan where UFP also played an important role.

Dr. Ward believes that UPF can play a similar role in the case of Korea in resolving conflict. However, he cautions that diplomacy does not always end in justice. Diplomacy ends conflict. He advises the focus should be on what should be done to address conflict.

One of the outcomes of the meeting of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un was that North Korea would cancel their “Hate America Month” which takes place every year between June 25 and July 27. That was not the first time that had happened.

In December 1991 Sun Myung Moon, who was condemned to death by the DRPK, spent three years in their labor camp, and had been subjected to their torture on more than one occasion, traveled to North Korea to attempt to broker peace with Kim Il Sung. Their emotional meeting in which Rev. Moon warmly embraces Kim Il Sung and respectfully refers to him as “elder brother” can be seen on YouTube.

A whole series of resultant meetings and activities between UPF and the DRPK followed this successful meeting. Rev. Moon was taken on a visit to his ancestral home to meet with the long-separated remnants of his family in North Korea. The first unedited American media interview with Kim Il Sung appeared in The Washington Times, April 15, 1992. In June 1992 an American Freedom Delegation of former congressmen led by Richard Ichord traveled to North Korea to meet with officials in an effort to end campaigns of hateful provocative rhetoric. This brought about DKPR communications that bypassed the US State Department using now-trusted UPF-related representatives and the cancellation of Hate America Month.

The direct expressions of personal warmth and trust between the Great Leader and Rev. Moon continued and led to numerous substantial projects to which Dr. Ward briefly referred: the building of an auto plant, hotel and tourism investments, and cultural exchanges of folk-dance troupes. It also led to UPF officials being recognized and trusted by the US government and media as important agents and communicators of Track II diplomacy, and the declaration of Rev. Moon as a hero of unification.

Dr. Ward summarized Rev. Moon’s and Dr. Hak Ja Han’s effort and success in dealing with North Korea by borrowing a phrase from Rev. Moon: It was a victory of love. It occurs not when we love and forgive our enemies, but when the enemy recognizes that love. It relies on taking the hand of a former enemy and never letting go. This understanding continues with the work of Dr. Hak Ja Han.

Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Chairman, IAPD North America for the last 20 years, was engaged in soft-power diplomacy with thousands of other religious leaders throughout the world in both Track II and Track III, with people-to-people engagement. His engagement with Korea, the “Land of the Morning Calm,” is motivated by his 50-plus trips to the 38th parallel and coming to know the heart of the Korean family – our brothers and sisters on both sides of that dividing line – as part of the global family, our one universal family under God.

Archbishop Stallings continued, saying that the words of Dr. King in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail to those concerned about his involvement in civic affairs explain what motivated him. Those words address what is going on in North and South Korea because we tend to distance ourselves and see this as of little interest to us because we are proud Americans celebrating freedom, justice and equality in our nation – even though we still have so much to do. We can’t look at this as something distant, their problem, not my concern.

In Dr. King’s words: “In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men and women are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single network of destiny, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you can be what you ought to be.” We must be concerned about what is happening on the Korean peninsula.

As a Christian minister, Archbishop Stallings believes in the power of prayer to change things – in the power of prayer to change people who can change things. We know it was God’s original intention for humanity to live as one, not in a world of division. We are called to manifest a world that reflects the oneness of God in substantial form. In North and South Korea there are persons created in the image and likeness of God and each is called to manifest the presence of God, to live as belonging to one global family. God would expect that those that possess the spirit of God would live in a manner that speaks of unity.

Paul, in Ephesians 4:3, writes: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Peace is a choice over conflict or strife or injustice that we must choose ever day of our lives. Religious leaders naturally leave Track I diplomacy to politicians, to the legislatures, and the hard power to the military. They know that will not bring lasting peace to the Korean peninsula. The clergy, particularly those men and women of the Abrahamic traditions, must work together to bring about another means to bring peace, using the tools of faith, hope and love.

The challenge is to become true leaders in the world, understanding that leadership is simply influence. Religious leaders – as conduits, as a medium, as connecting points between God and men – are called to work towards the oneness in humanity that is a reflection of the essence of God, to utilize our God-given abilities and talents to assist those who are working on Track I diplomacy through our Track II and Track III efforts and accomplishments.

Looking at the enormous development of the last 60 years in South Korea, we want the same prosperity to be experienced by Koreans in the North. Norman Vincent Peale’s aphorism “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is applicable. All is possible and should be approached with the positivity and hopeful optimism expressed in the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which Archbishop Stallings used to close his comments.

Dr. Suzanne Scholte, President, Defense Forum Foundation, is often asked, “When is the North Korean regime going to collapse?” To which she answers: “Tomorrow!” The challenge is how to make it happen peacefully.

Truth will set the North Koreans free – such as the truth that the United States is not the enemy, that South Korean prosperity is real. Her presentation explained how ten other dedicated civilian volunteer organizations are reaching North Korean people with information by defeating the barriers of controlled communication the DKRP has erected. Reaching people by land, sea and air is the task. This includes delivering leaflets, cell phones, digital memory devices stored with video and images being delivered by drones, air balloons and “rice bottle” flotation devices along the coastal shores. The deliveries include documentation of DKRP deceptions, USBs with videos and Korean pop songs, newspapers, Korean “Choco pie” desserts, Bibles, dollar bills, shortwave radios that resemble cell phones, small computer devices that can receive transmissions.

Also utilized, she reported, are radio programming and broadcasting directed towards a North Korean audience. Former North Korean military defectors work on sophisticated devices and means to transmit from as well as into North Korea. Because most of the North Korean military is based within 100 km of the South Korean border, broadcasting is very effective and presents a major concern for DKPR.

Dr. Scholte explained the most successful programs and effective communicators are created or organized by North Korean defectors whose messaging can be trusted and relevant to North Koreans. The most serious challenge to this work is the present liberal-left South Korean administration under President Moon which responded to DRNK demands by shutting down provocative loudspeaker broadcasts along the DMZ, restricting balloon launchings, and is considering blocking radio broadcasts to the North. 

Dr. Scholte identifies the structures of the North Korean government as a demonic response to the fervent Christian culture that existed in Korea – and especially in Pyeongyang – before Communist control. Kim Il Sung produced Juche or “Self-Reliance” as a theology. The three Kim family leaders are worshiped as a kind of “Holy Trinity” like God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Mr. Fariborz (Frank) Sepehernia, a Los Angeles TV producer and host, and head of the Islamic Society of Orange County, came to the United States prior to the Iranian revolution and was unable to return to Iran. After obtaining his AA degree, he decided to sturdy religion as a means to bring people together. Although he is a leading Muslim cleric, much of the work he takes great pride in is interfaith based.

His long association with UPF has convinced him of the importance of the work of Rev. and Mrs. Moon as peace makers and at this time sees the many seeds that they have sown as bearing flowers and fruits. When he considers the extraordinary development of South Korea in such a short period of time, he sees the unification of the Korean peninsula will create a super nation that will produce a new Asia and have the influence the united Germany had on Europe and the development of the European Union, with greater prosperity and unity rippling throughout Asia.

To bring about Korean unity he recommends working with the UN as the highest priority, working with the aid of established allies, using the German model for unification, and concentrating on civic, grassroots, social engagement. He sees it as necessary to involve the media and valuable to engage the role of religious leaders.

Because Mr. Sepehernia is involved with media and develops content for a fractured multifaceted community, he recommends creation of an app that would allow people to freely communicate and raise questions about their lives – in both North and South Korea. That will support preparations for dealing with unification. Such an app would be an important way to prepare the expectations, groundwork and understanding that will be necessary when the time of unification comes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

10:00 AM- 11:10 AM
Session 4: Building Bridges of Peace through Culture & Arts (IAACP) (click for video)

  • Franco Famularo, President, UPF Canada (Moderator & Session Coordinator)
  • David Eaton, Director, HyoJeong Cultural Center, Seoul, Korea
  • Maya Yamada, Deaf Educator, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt, MD
  • Gilbert Starr, President, Gilbert Starr Management
  • No Hi Pak, Senior Advisor, Universal Peace Federation Korea
  • Video Presentation - Little Angels cultural exchange peace visit to North Korea

Session Report

David Eaton explained the purpose for the founding of the International Association of Arts and Culture for Peace by citing Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s assertion that art and culture are primary because it is emotion, not reason, that changes the hearts of people. Experiencing aesthetic beauty (in nature or art) is an important factor in ameliorating hostility and conflict because hearts can be opened to new ideas via beauty. In this regard the role of artists is extremely important. He stressed that artists don’t create in a vacuum but are part of the social, cultural and political environment in which they live and work. As such, artists have a certain moral obligation in their creative endeavors. Citing the Greek and Chinese philosophers of antiquity, he referenced how they observed that it was possible to know a person (or a society) by the kind of music they enjoy. 

Between 2003 and 2012 the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) held numerous events in Israel with the intention of creating interfaith harmony and reconciliation among the leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths. Performers representing Judaism, Christianity and Islam often performed together at these events. In 2005 Mr. Eaton and Israeli singer-songwriter David D’Or composed and recorded music based on the ideals of peace and interfaith unity. This music has been performed in Europe, Asia and at the United Nations’ interfaith conference in New York in 2012. Mr. Eaton was a co-founder of the Peace Music Foundation in 2007 which was an effort to support and encourage artists to use their creativity to create a culture of peace.   

He mentioned the role of cultural peace ambassadors played by The Little Angels of Korea created by Rev. and Dr. Moon in the early 60s. The Little Angels will celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2022 and several important anniversary performances are being planned. 

In his closing remarks Mr. Eaton quoted an associate, “We may sing songs of peace, but it’s not enough to just sing the songs. We need to live the lyrics.” Citing the need for production support and patronage, Mr. Eaton concluded with his personal motto: “More music, less talk.”

Mrs. Maya Yamada, who has been deaf since age five, directs the Eleanor Roosevelt Dance Company in Greenbelt, Maryland. She struggled to overcome her handicap, seeking to perfect her ability to speak and also to teach dance. She was part of the Gallaudet University Dance Company (a school of higher education for deaf people). Through dance, the pain and hurt they experience in the course of living and working through their handicaps, liberated the dancers and the performers. She went on to establish the Eleanor Roosevelt Dance Company in 1996 for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. She incorporates American Sign Language into her dance pieces, and has been active in teaching signing to non-handicapped people. She has also trained other deaf dance instructors. Through such performances, barriers are broken down and understandings are created that did not exist before. Her daughter is also gradually becoming deaf, and her mother is preparing her for what she will experience.

Rev. Gilbert Starr works at being a bridge between Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and the biggest names in the entertainment world. Rev. Starr explained that through his many years working with entertainers such as the Jackson family, Kool and the Gang, Spike Lee, Beyonce, and many others, he understood that most artists have a strong desire to work for and realize peace. He shared his passion to facilitate support for the peace building efforts in collaboration with the Mother of Peace. 

Dr. No Hi Pak spoke about the May 2, 1998 trip of The Little Angels of Korea from Seoul to Pyongyang to perform. This was the first time since the Korean War that a performing arts group had visited North Korea from the South in an artistic exchange. Later, a troupe from North Korea performed in Seoul. Dr. Pak also shared about the elaborate and ongoing efforts of the UPF founders, since the 1960s. His presentation concluded with a moving video of The Little Angels’ visit to North Korea in 1998 which vividly demonstrated the role of culture as peacemaker and spoke to the heart.

1:00 PM- 2:10 PM
Session 5: Paving the Pathway for Peace with Peace Road (Peace Road 2021)
(click for video)

  • Zagery Oliver, Executive Vice President, UPF USA (Moderator & Session Coordinator)
  • Thomas Walsh, Chairman, Universal Peace Federation International: Peace Road
  • Peace Road 2020 (video 3 minutes)
  • Konstantin Krylov, Secretary General, UPF Eastern Europe
  • Daniel Stringer, Chair, National Capital Peace Council, Ottawa, ON

Session Report

Rev. Zagery Oliver, serving as moderator, opened with expanded remarks about the importance of unity and cooperation between the black and white races in America. He spoke about the vision of heaven for America to be a place where all the divisions among humankind can come together to be healed. He offered insights into how racial healing in the U.S. can enable America to influence the world toward peace and similar reconciliations among divided peoples.

Dr. Thomas Walsh spoke about the International Peace Highway, which was introduced by UPF Co-Founders Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in Korea at a 1981 meeting of the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences. One pivotal component of the road is a proposed tunnel under the Bering Strait that would effectively connect the continents of the Americas and Asia. The co-founders emphasized that this project is more than technological achievement, but represents a new connectivity between peoples, making separated nations into neighbors.

Dr. Walsh showed proposed maps of new roads linking North, Central and South America, and a proposed Pan-Africa Highway that the African Union is committed to. In speaking about China’s “Belt and Road” system, he brought in maps of the ancient Silk Road and the road system of the Roman Empire to illustrate the historical precedents in the desire to create physical communication around the world.

Such a highway system has many benefits. For example it can lend itself to solving problems of the unequal distribution of food and water and all forms of commerce and technology transfer. The more that nations trade with one another, the less likely it is they will fight each other. One economist wrote, “No two nations that have McDonald’s restaurants, have gone to war with each other.”

Drawbacks to this plan include economic protectionist attitudes, including a need to protect local manufacturers. Distrust and perceived threats to security remain a major obstacle to nations opening up their borders.

The Peace Road 2020 video produced by Universal Peace Federation International summarized the history of Peace Road activities, underscoring the determination of a vast coalition of diverse groups and individuals to solve all existing barrier issues, including racial division and historical resentments in the United States in order to prepare the environment to create a global highway that unites all peoples.

Mr. Konstantin Krylov addressed perspectives he encountered in meeting with diplomats from North Korea (DPRK) and Russia. Volunteers and Ambassadors for Peace throughout Asia have given their enthusiastic support to the Peace Road initiative. Ancillary events that contribute to consciousness-raising for cross-border unity and cooperation include marathon runs. Getting the Peace Road logo approved by DPRK authorities in 2019 was especially difficult, but was ultimately accepted. The small team from Russia was able to go to Pyongyang to do a Peace Road bicycle ride. Despite initial skepticism and puzzlement among DPRK officials, Peace Road 2019 was approved. The government provided bicycles for the group. They also conducted a half marathon (13 miles) around Pyongyang. The government was satisfied with the activities. This was one of the last public events held in North Korea before the COVID lockdown.

Dr. Daniel Stringer spoke of the Transcontinental Railroad project across Canada that would ultimately link to the Bering Strait tunnel. One big problem is permafrost between Alaska and Edmonton, and that has to be addressed by the current TransSiberian Railroad. Global warming and more frequent thaws have an effect on the stability of the roadbed.

Indigenous peoples, across whose land the railroad will travel, must be dealt with respectfully, especially regarding their concerns about the environment. Discussion has included the creation of underpasses and overpasses to allow migrating herds (caribou, for example) to move freely. He said, “The way indigenous peoples have been mistreated in the past is a national shame.” Underemployed minority groups, including the indigenous peoples, can be employed in the running of the railroad.

The route of the railroad is also important. There is concern among Western governments about keeping the highway (including that going through Russia and China) free of all political interference. There is talk of an oil and gas pipeline following the route of the railroad. (A pipeline was not part of Rev. Moon’s original thinking.) There are a lot of political considerations involving a pipeline. In summary, Dr. Stringer alluded that a great deal of political wrangling has been involved and will continue to be a factor. His conclusion was that the Peace Road should pass through major urban centers and should offer services to those centers. As he said, “Urban centers are where the votes are.” He sees as the optimum route: Alaska through Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg. Canadians are also concerned about the route through the United States. He sees entry into Canada at Detroit as favorable. The Windsor-Quebec City corridor is important.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

10:00 AM- 11:10 AM
Session 6: Youth Initiatives Toward Peace (IAYSP)
(click for video)

  • Miilhan Stephens, President, IAYSP USA (Moderator & Session Coordinator)
  • Koji Matsuda, President, IAYSP International
  • Tarina Ahuja, Co-founder, The Greater Good Initiative
  • Samuel Read, Media & Communications Manager, IAYSP Korea
  • Kodai Abe, President, CARP Los Angeles
  • Yoshie Manaka, Social Media Manager, FFWPU USA

Session Report

Mr. Koji Matsuda stated that the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace has 48 chapters worldwide. He alluded to the lack of purpose and sense of personal power on the part of many young people. Among IAYSP’s activities have been educational projects in Korea explaining the need for unification of the Korean Peninsula, and a river cleanup in New Jersey. A one-billion tree planting campaign has been started in countries in Indonesia and throughout Asia. They have attempted tree-planting in North Korea, but this has not been very successful due to the feeling of lack of ownership on the part of the people. The organization is active in 18 nations in Africa. There are not many summer vacation programs for students, so IAYSP has organized several 10-day youth camps for recreation and education and for construction of useful things such as toilet sanitation facilities. IAYSP clubs have been created in many high schools. The heads of state and government in nations where IAYSP is active, have expressed their whole-hearted support. He repeated the words of Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” He concluded with a quote from Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s Memoir, Mother of Peace, “Those who have a challenging spirit are true youth.”

Ms. Tarina Ahuja requested us to reflect that the time we spend in the environment we are witnesses. Youth are on the front lines of organizing. Youth are sounding the alarm against imperialism and exploitation. “We were handed a world on fire,” she said. Empathy is seeking to understand and also to act. “Radical empathy,” she called it. She spoke of an idealistic vision for a better world predicated on youth taking action to improve the world: learn from the experience of our elders and take it from there. Ms. Ahuja spoke of her experience in the pandemic, of being removed from school in the lockdown. The experience affected her profoundly and she reflected on the ingenuity and power of young people to take initiative to reach out individually to make a difference. She said she was dismayed to see the lack of young people around the tables where the decisions are being made.

Ms. Ahuja founded The Greater Good Initiative, which seeks to turn ideas into action. It’s founded on the premise of radical empathy, involving all races and ethnicities. This initiative is turning its attention toward the task of unifying the Korean Peninsula. She concluded by advising us to “not discount the power of a young person, because their ideas will surpass all your expectations.”

Mr. Samuel Read said solutions to the Korean Peninsula division are very complex and varied in the minds of the Korean people, particularly among the young. Mr. Read interacts closely with North Koreans living in Japan, and with their help, was able to travel to Pyongyang with a delegation of foreign nationals. They visited the Gold Mountains. The group introduced an environmental project and initiated the beginnings of relationships and connections. The hope is to continue sending groups to the North in the coming years. He said it was strange to see the mountains deforested. The lack of trees in the north is critical.

Mr. Read reported that the older generation in South Korea wants reunification more than the young, who tend to lean toward peaceful coexistence. There is a need to build relationships between NGOs and counterparts in the north. This first trip to DPRK was a “big win,” but only a beginning, he said. There is a strong effort underway to elicit the support of NGOs. A dialogue with journalists, held in the DMZ, is currently being planned.

People are taking initiative to engage the reunification issue online through their own forums. The Ministry of Unification gave an award to IAYSP in Seoul for our work.

Mr. Kodai Abe works with CARP LA (Los Angeles). CARP organized the Hyojeong Conference in LA, taking on the Korean Peninsula division as their topic. They stress God-centered values in their outreach, with a strong approach to educating the public about the failures of the communist ideology. He also cited the majority of South Korean people who no longer care ardently about reunification. He spoke of Mother Moon’s “power of the young people” and wants to leverage this.

He has been active in organizing consciousness-raising activities in Seoul and at the DMZ since 2017. After being cautioned by city officials against praying in public, they held a loud, audacious 300,000-person unison prayer in the center of the city.

He concluded by reminding everyone, “Reunification of the Korean Peninsula will not happen on its own.” He said the prevailing opinion in Korea is that the United States will need to be instrumental in making this happen. The Hyojeong conference seeks to raise leaders who can address the issues of reunification.

Rev. Yoshie Manaka said that during August 2020, she was privileged to be part of a small delegation of young people traveling the country, visiting sites of racial conflict and suffering in the United States. They also paid attention to the Bering Strait tunnel project as they made their way across the country toward Alaska. Everything about the tour was a series of work-arounds, with in-person meetings being largely impossible due to the pandemic.

She and others positioned the traveling event as a “Peace Road reality TV show,” posting to Facebook live and recorded events in the pivotal civil rights venues across America. Their Facebook subscriptions increased ten-fold. As a result of her experience, Rev. Manaka is passionate about utilizing all available media to promote our messages. High-quality social media coverage has the power to bring people along on our chosen issues.

She wrote a guidebook on social media practices, based on things learned and best practices from last year’s Peace Road tour. It is available free at yoshieportfolio.com.

12:00 PM- 1:10 PM
Session 7: Closing: Summary and Recommendations
(click for video)

  • Kaeleigh Moffitt, Congressional Liaison - UPF (Moderator)
  • Thomas Walsh, Chairman, UPF International
  • Michael Jenkins, President, UPF International
  • Chung Sik Yong, North American President, Family Federation for World Peace
  • Dan Burton, IAPP Global Co-Chairman
  • Summary Report
    • Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr, Chairman, IAPD North America
    • Staffan Berg, Coordinator, IAAP USA
    • Tomiko Duggan, Senior Vice-President, UPF USA
    • Franco Famularo, President, UPF Canada
    • Zagery Oliver, Executive Vice President, UPF USA
    • Miilhan Stephens, President, IAYSP USA
  • Ki Hoon Kim, Chairman, World Clergy Leadership Conference
  • Moonshik Kim, Chairman, UPF Canada  

Tuesday, July 13

2:00- 3:00 PM
Session 8: Humanitarian / Private Sector Initiative (IAED)
(click for video)
From North Korea to South Bronx: Making Giving Sustainable
A Conversation with Project C.U.R.E.

  • Michael Jenkins (Moderator)
  • Doug Jackson, President & CEO, Project C.U.R.E.
  • James Jackson, Founder and Board of Directors, Project C.U.R.E.

Session Report

Dr. Douglas Jackson is the President & CEO of Project C.U.R.E. This is a position he inherited from his father, Dr. James Jackson, who founded the charity. He reported that C.U.R.E. delivers approximately four semi-truckloads of medical supplies every week, to any of 135 countries. They also send doctors and healthcare teachers to these countries. They are served by 20,000 volunteers each year. Catheters, CAT scans, operating tables, syringes and antibiotics are some of the items provided. They address the fundamental baseline concept that everyone needs to be healthy in order to advance the economy. “We lose a lot of moms around the world just because they don’t have enough sutures for the delivery of babies…. We try to circumvent cash and just get the medical supplies directly.

“Every baby has 60 seconds. If you don’t get that baby crying in the first 60 seconds, you will probably lose that baby. If the baby’s not breathing, they often just set it on a shelf and go tend to the mother. We provide oxygen tanks, ball syringes; teach CPR for newborns; provide warming tables for newborns. On implementing those measures, we start to see the infant mortality rate drop. Somewhere in those saved babies is a Nobel Prize winner; one of them is a future doctor; somewhere in there is someone who will invent something really cool.

“One of the things we do is to find a good partner. Running hospitals is not what we do. We sit in the backseat and give resources to the organizers. People with projects fill out forms online stating what they need. Many of these are Muslims. People are universal. There is no culture we’ve been to that doesn’t have a pizza shop.

“Right now we don’t have an invitation to go to North Korea. We were there 5 years ago. We’re waiting. There is a lot more that can be done. In the end it is not politics – it is humanity. We need enough people to step up and say, ‘I’m inspired, I’m going to do my part.’ We are hoping that North Korea will reach out soon. We are ready to go.

“How can Project C.U.R.E. get back into North Korea? I have been there 8 times. I have had the top North Korean generals right here in my home. The State Department got them in and put them into my home! It is the relationships that make it possible to work in North Korea.”

Dr. James Jackson said, “You can’t build strong economies on sick people, so we need to do something about it. Doug and I are both economists. You can’t just print more money. If you have 250 people in your waiting room when you close at the end of the day, they will be there at the start of the following day, and you haven’t solved their problems.”

He made two excellent points: “You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the number of apples in a seed” and “Apply business principles to humanitarian work and multiply effectiveness and efficiency.”

He shared that he began this work from a realization. “I’m making a lot of money. In my Bentley limo, I prayed, ‘God get me out of this rat race, off this hamster wheel. I want to be a simple man, a good man. If you help me do that, I promise I will never use it to accumulate wealth for myself.’

“Project C.U.R.E. has two principles: We never go where we are not invited. We never engage in anything political.” He once got on a plane in Karachi. The whole cockpit came back to shake hands with the man in the seat next to him, who turned out to be the head of the Pakistani Parliament and the head of the World Council on Islam. The man asked, ‘What’s your story?’ We were there to help hospitals treat the wounded from Afghanistan. I told him my story about giving it all up for God. He said, ‘I have never actually met someone who did it. Next time you come, I will put together a dinner party for you with the most influential people in my country. I want you to tell them what you just told me about God.’”

TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2021

2:00- 3:00 PM
Session 9: Communication Media Perspectives (IMAP)
(click for video)
The Longest War: Thoughts on the 68th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice

  • Michael Jenkins, President, Universal Peace Federation International (Moderator)
  • Joseph Chung, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Montreal University, Canada and KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Seoul, Korea; member, National Unification Advisory Council of Korea
  • Michael Breen, Chairman and CEO, Insight Communications, Seoul, Korea; columnist, Chosun Ilbo and The Korea Times
  • Jacco Zwetsloot, podcaster, NK News and columnist, Dong A Ilbo; former director of business innovation, HMP Law

Session Report

Prof. Joseph Chung stated that Korea has been under pressure from Japan, Russia and China since the end of the 19th century. Russia’s interest in Korea has always been its year-around ice-free ports. Japan ended up defeating Russia and took ownership of Korea for 40 years. Today we are discussing the reunification of Korea, but that requires the war to be ended. The war has continued for 68 years after the fighting stopped. Since the Korean War, the United States has always known that China would be a threat sooner or later, so it felt it needed to keep a strong military presence in South Korea to contain China.

For conservative South Korean governments, being in a continual state of war has been a convenient tool for winning elections. It is possible that China derives some benefit from this state of war as well, because peace could lead to something China is afraid of [a democratic, unified Korea on their border]. Every nation involved has reasons for keeping the current state of war active. For the United States, as long as it fears Chinese hegemony, it benefits from the status quo.

Prof. Chung added, “The relevant question, therefore, is whether China is a threat to the United States. My view is that China does not want to be a threat to the United States. If I am right, then a state of war is no longer needed.”

To determine if China is a threat, we need to examine the nature of the Sino-US rivalry, which exists in the following areas: (1) military, (2) economic, and (3) ideological. He dismissed the Chinese military threat, saying “China isn’t a match” because China’s military budget is 20% that of the United States. On the economic front, he said China’s GDP will not catch up to the United States until 2031, and that in the meantime, a growing Chinese economy is good for the United States and the world. Regarding the liberal ideology of the United States vs. China’s conservative socialism, he said, “China has no ambition to impose its regime on other countries.” He said the reason for that is that all of China’s ambitions are local, and that “it has no roots outside China.” He said Xi Jinping has made it clear that China prefers peaceful and productive coexistence with the United States. He quoted President Xi saying on February 9, 2014, “The vast Pacific Ocean must have enough space to accommodate both China and the United States.”

In short, China is not a threat.

Mr. Michael Breen said both the South and North Korean governments consider unification a national priority. It is the strategic policy that drives all their actions. The South has come to realize that sudden unification (the German model) would have a strong downside. So most in the south now prefer the idea of pursuing a slower process, although they still desire unification ultimately. Both sides also desire peaceful unification, with North Korea even changing its Constitution to this effect in 1992. Earlier this year, according to news reports, the ruling Workers Party in the DPRK finally ruled out revolution in South Korea as a strategy.

Is the problem, then, that they don’t know how to bring about unification? Or is it, as Prof. Chung alluded, the problem lies not with them, but with their allies? Do China or the United States, one way or another, prevent unification? The answer lies in understanding what the two Koreas mean by “unification.” Each side wants to win, and their success requires the defeat of the other. For both side it’s “I win, you lose,” which make unification an inherently aggressive idea.

A merger on DPRK terms would resemble Vietnam in 1978, while a merger on ROK terms would resemble Germany in 1990.

There is a possible third alternative: Yemen in 1990. He said, “This option sounds reasonable in theory, but the problem with it, in the case of the Koreas, becomes apparent as soon as you ask the question, What can North Korea actually contribute to the external structure and internal character of such a unified state?” Mr. Breen said he has pondered this for a long time, from every angle, and his conclusion is, “I can’t see what a country that has come into the 21st century praising Stalin has to offer. You have to ask, does a country which is in the middle of Northeast Asia, that still experiences famine, actually have anything to offer? I may be wrong, but all I can think of now is that the South Koreans might throw North Korea a bone by agreeing to let the new capital be there. What I’m getting at is that when you drill down into this idea of there being a third way, that it evaporates. That’s because it is a suggestion that an advanced democracy joining as an equal partner with an impoverished Stalinist dictatorship, ends up being like option number two, the German way.”

Getting back to the question of why the two Koreas have been unable to unify, Mr. Breen said we need to accept that there is an existing precondition for peaceful unification. That precondition is shared values. The absence of shared values is the core reason for the two Koreas being unable to unify. To illustrate, he offered a summation of the differing values of DPRK, ROK left and ROK right. The merger of 25 million North Koreans with 50 million South Koreans will be complicated. But with shared values it might be doable.

He said that, with respect to UPF, reliance on outreach and dialogues will not be very effective. Even various projects undertaken without consideration for the absence of shared values, will lead to disappointment. The idea of developing the DMZ into a peace zone and that talks about this leading to peace is, he said, a fantasy.

He advised, “The effort that will lead toward unification is the effort toward changing values. We need to strategize to change values, so that when the time comes, democracy is the natural choice for people on both sides. And finally, there are two ways in which America and other democratic powers can contribute to this. One is to act as models for the North Koreans, which they already do, but there is a theme that is gathering steam in the world, promoted by China and Russia, that American democracy is undesirable and even laughable, and we need to recover from this. Second, American policy-makers need to set a vision of a democratic Northeast Asia. It’s obvious that America, right now, has no vision for this part of the world. I won’t say it doesn’t care, but it has not thought through a vision upon which it bases its policies.”

Mr. Jacco Zwetsloot said his basic thesis is that South Korea is already a peaceful and stable place to live. It has a dynamic economy and performs well in the cultural and sporting environment.

It is North Korea that controls the speed and continuation of dialogue with the South. The governments in Seoul and Washington change every few years, and their policies and stances do too. On the other hand, North Korea has had the same family in charge since 1948. They know how to deal with democratic governments and exploit our changes in ruling parties. Outside parties cannot slow, change or stop changes in North Korea.

He offered numerous comparisons of the systems of North Korea and South Korea, and the United States, showing the great disparity of growth, especially between North and South Korea.

His conclusions are that, for most younger South Koreans the current status quo is enough. They don’t spend time worrying about war with North Korea, or even giving a single thought about North Korea. When the topic of unification comes up it’s something they aspire to “someday,” but they don’t see it happening right away or quickly.

If you find this page helpful and informative please consider making donation. Your donation will help Universal Peace Federation (UPF) provide new and improved reports, analysis and publications to you and everyone around the world.

UPF is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and all donations are tax deductible in the United States. Receipts are automatically provided for donations of or above $250.00.

Donate to the Universal Peace Federation: Your donation to support the general programs of UPF.

Donate to the Religious Youth Service (RYS): Your donation will be used for service projects around the world.


Donate to UPF's Africa Projects: Your donation will be used for projects in Africa.