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Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

M.D. Huh: The Korean Peninsula and Peace in Northeast Asia

True love is the mightiest strategic tool for melting down all strife and conflict in this world. The realm of true love surpasses all barriers.

Father Sun Myung Moon is the greatest believer in true love. He went up against the evil world during a time marked by troubles, tribulations and persecution. These formidable barriers have dissolved into a multinational realm of true love. We have faith in Father Moon’s realm of true love that it will bring about an everlasting world of peace on earth. I would like to express my joy in being part of this realm of true love.

The greatest Western era, during which the western nations led the world, is now coming to a close, ushering in the age of the Pacific Ocean. Peace in our global village is dependent on peace in Northeast Asia, where the world’s four great powers vie for dominance. The realization of peace in this region is dependent on the success or failure of bringing about peace on the Korean Peninsula, which is divided into North Korea and South Korea.

We cannot begin to consider the creation of peace on the Korean Peninsula without first bringing about reunification of this divided land. As long as this division exists there will be efforts to maintain the status quo, and the four great powers which are entwined with each other around the peninsula will be unable to free themselves from the tensions of this situation. The instability of Northeast Asia will continue disrupting the process of peace in a world where these four great powers form the main axis.

The problem of nuclear weapons in North Korea has taken center stage, shaking the fragile foundation for peace in Northeast Asia. In order to resolve this crisis, Six-Party Talks are being held in Beijing. No other meeting shows as clearly how the Korean Peninsula is directly connected to the challenges of bringing about world peace. Each of the participants in the Six-Party Talks distrusts what is being said by the others. No results have come from the talks, and Kim Jong-il has continued to build up his nuclear capability in the meantime, thereby aggravating the situation.

According to Henry Kissinger, an authority on international affairs, if the Six-Party Talks fail to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis and North Korea’s possession of nuclear arms becomes a fact, Japan, Taiwan and 15 other nations throughout the world will race to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. This would destroy the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty system which is part of America’s strategy for world peace. The planet earth will be driven to the point of chaos. For this reason, the U.S. does not exclude the use of military force as an option in resolving the nuclear problem in North Korea. On the other hand, China is against the use of force.

It is difficult for America, which is struggling with Iraq and with Iran’s hard-line stance on its nuclear program, to decide to use military force to solve this issue. All attempts at a solution based on a philosophy of power have hit a wall. The world’s key elites have been seeking an exit from this tunnel, but their best ideas have produced no results. This issue has brought us to the limits of human intellect.

At this time it is proper that we, who have gathered here within Father Moon’s realm of true love, seek an alternative solution using God’s providential formula. Father Moon teaches that "the fundamental solution to all the difficult problems that humankind faces today can only be brought about through the perfection of true love." He also states: “True love, not military force, is the way to unify the world.”

With the U.S. adopting a policy that is entirely too far from the philosophy of true love, how can we be optimistic about the future of the Six-Party Talks? We who are addressing this issue from the perspective of true love consider the Six-Party Talks to be the providential turning point for peace.

I would like to elucidate a proposition that is the principle of this realm of true love. It is that God is a transcendent and inherent being. He may exist in heaven, above our heads, but He exists within us as well. That is why providential history has unfolded concurrently with the history of the secular world.

Another issue that greatly influences the realization of peace in Northeast Asia and in the world in the 21st century is the task of reconciling the Chinese people with the Japanese. If the Korean Peninsula is the tip of the iceberg, China is the iceberg below. Day by day, China is growing in power, which by 2030 will rival that of America. We should remember that one out of four people in our world of six billion souls is Chinese.

As China grows in strength, it has begun to take a more nationalistic approach to its neighboring countries. Its recent hegemonic attitude toward those neighbors and keen interest in territory are manifested in its assertion that the history of Koguryo, the basis of the history of the Korean people, is but a provincial part of Chinese history.

Against the backdrop of two centuries of humiliation, the Chinese people, as they grow strong, probably feel a compelling urge to get revenge on those who brought them shame. Any race that is blind to the existence of God would behave in this way. After the Opium War with England in the 1840’s, mainland China was crippled by Western countries. Following this invasion, it was trampled upon by the small country of Japan, which was imitating the Western powers. The resentment and anger the Chinese people have harbored is more than enough to cover the entire earth.

Nevertheless, Japan has shown no sign of repentance or reconsideration of her past. Despite the objections of neighboring countries, the Japanese prime minister continues to pay his respects at a shrine that holds the remains of war criminals from World War II, incurring the displeasure of China. The problems in regards to history have become a diplomatic issue between the two nations. If China seeks to take its historical revenge against the Japanese people, this will undermine peace in Northeast Asia in the 21st century. The international ramifications would make it impossible for world peace to come about.

We cannot help being reminded of Father Moon’s teaching that the fundamental solution to all the difficult problems that humankind faces today can only be brought about through the perfection of true love.

Japan should not enhance its naval strength or seek opportunities to arm itself with nuclear weapons or even think about consolidating its national power by strengthening its alliance with America, disregarding the growing presence of China. Rather, it should work to restore through indemnity its past wrongdoings through true love. We cannot help being amazed at Father Moon’s foresight in providential affairs when we learn that in the 1950s right after the Korean War, he envisioned Japan becoming the center of motherly love.

I believe that China, with its cultural tradition of virtue and benevolence, can and will, through true love, overcome its historical resentment, because it is China. I fully expect that with true love, China will overcome its rancor and prove the greatness of its race by taking the lead in bringing harmony to this world.

As citizens of the realm of true love, let us stand at the forefront in practicing true love with the Chinese and Japanese societies. I truly believe that the way of establishing peace in Northeast Asia and securing everlasting peace in the world is by spreading the way of true love.

Source: Excerpts from a speech given at the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace Assembly 2005 in Seoul, Korea.

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