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M. Pompeo: Address to Summit 2022, Session III

Address to Summit 2022 and Leadership Conference,
Seoul, Korea, August 11-15, 2022


Thank you very much. It is truly an honor to be back with you. The last time I was here in February, those of you who were here will remember that I scootered up on a little ramp here. It was very dangerous. You should know that my foot has healed in those last four months. The Lord is with us! Yes, God is good. God is very good for the last four months.

That is the only thing that is less fractured in the world. We've watched, in the days that followed [the World Summit], Vladimir Putin commit acts of aggression.  We've watched the COVID virus continue to run rampant around the world. We saw an assassination of an amazing Asian leader and a dear friend of mine. We've watched the Chinese Communist Party threaten the democratic, peace-loving people of Taiwan in ways they have not done previously.

These last four months have been difficult. And the people who have come here today, the people who join in the desire for peace, well, that makes our work just a little bit more important, a little bit harder, and we must renew our commitment to that.

Of course, I want to thank Dr. [Hak Ja Han] Moon for creating this opportunity for us all to come together around the Universal Peace Federation. I want to thank the good people from The Washington Times who have delivered to the United States messages that they often don't find in other places—indeed, delivered messages to the world that the world needs to hear.

[Former Nigerien] Prime Minister Brigi Rafini [secretary general of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States], it was great to see you.  Thank you for bringing these great leaders from all across Africa to be with us here, to pray and to work so diligently to deliver peace for every human being, wherever they find themselves.

It's great to be the former secretary of state because you can speak more freely! You can speak about things that are on your heart and that you know matter. And I thought today I'd talk about three things: I want to talk about truth, I want to talk about hope, and I want to talk about what it means for this group to be a federation.

The truth is, when we talk about peace, sometimes we think that's weakness, right? You talk about peace, and you think about people who shake hands and aren't willing to use power and to deliver good outcomes for the people that they are tasked to lead and to represent.

The administration that I worked in—you heard President [Donald] Trump; you heard Vice President [Mike] Pence—we desperately wanted peace. We wanted peace everywhere. But we were prepared to do the hard work to make that more likely. It need not be the case that those who speak the truth and those who want peace are victims, are those who fall prey to those who speak about peace but who truly have an objective that is deeply different.

Let me give you five examples from my time as secretary of state. I sat across from [my] Chinese counterparts.  They spoke about peace but rattled sabers. They rattled sabers against the Mongolian people. They imprisoned a million Uighurs in the western part of China. They killed Indians at the border in the Himalayas. They created risk with every one of their border neighbors. They moved against the Vietnamese, who were simply trying to use energy that was in their own economic zone. So they spoke about peace, but they delivered the risk of war, and they made freedom less likely.

I met with the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, I signed an agreement that became known as the Doha Agreement. It was a set of commitments to try to make [peaceful] that part of the world, a place that had been so fraught, where so many Americans and so many people from your nations had lost their lives over the last two decades. So they spoke about peace, but during my time and subsequently, they did not deliver on that. The people of Afghanistan are less free. The women of Afghanistan have rights now, today, that are only a fraction of what they were just 18 short months ago.

I'd say the same thing here on this peninsula. On my first trip to Pyongyang,  I left on Good Friday 2018 to travel to Pyongyang on what was then a clandestine mission to meet with Chairman Kim. We were prepared. We had done all the hard work. But the most important thing that I did as I walked into the room that day was to pray. It was, after all, Good Friday, the darkest day in the Christian tradition.

I left North Korea and returned home on Easter Sunday. Which brings me to hope, which brings me to faith and to commitment. And the central thesis with which we were meeting with Chairman Kim was a deliberate [attempt] to follow what Rev. and Mrs. Moon had talked about for so long:  Is there a way for this one people to join together and make life better for the people of the entire peninsula?

I was mindful—and am ever mindful—that when you meet with Chairman Kim and you are seeking peace, there are 25 million people in North Korea that are rooting for you, even if the person who is sitting across from you may not be. I was always mindful, too, when I would meet with my counterparts from the Chinese Communist Party, that there were 1.2 billion Chinese people that were rooting for better lives, for more freedom, and for peace.

And so there is hope. It remains that hope is real, and it ultimately will deliver good outcomes. But it has to be combined with the hard work that goes alongside it and the preparedness to demonstrate resolve and use power to make sure that that peace actually can be delivered.

The truth, for a second: Sometimes it gets muddy in the diplomatic world, or as we move around the world, we sometimes forget that when there is conflict, the parties are seldom equally responsible for that conflict. We should be fearless in calling out the aggressors.

Does anyone think, for one minute, that had Vladimir Putin not moved into Ukraine, that the Ukrainians would have threatened a single Russian in Moscow?

Does anybody think, for a single minute, if Chinese warships today engaging in exercises all around the freedom-loving people of Taiwan, if those ships went back to port, does one think for a moment that Taiwan would threaten a single Chinese person in Beijing?

Does anybody think, for a second, if the Taliban put down their weapons, that [Afghanistan] wouldn't be a freer and safer place? No, we should never forget who the aggressors are.

Today there's lots of focus on trying to deliver peace in the Middle East.  I worked on it diligently. We made it a better, more stable, more prosperous place, because we simply, along with our friends and partners around the world, acknowledged the truth that the aggressor in the region was the Ayatollah. It wasn't the Arab Gulf States, it wasn't the Jewish people in Israel. It was the leadership in the nation of Iran that presented an aggressive risk not only to Israel and to the Gulf States, but to each and every one of us.

We know who the aggressors are, and we know who the lovers of peace are.  And it is absolutely essential that, while we engage and we have dialogue and we speak and we hope and we pray, [that we also] speak truth about those who are undermining the very efforts that you all came here to Seoul today to work and to move toward.

We know the elements of this peace. Prime Minister Rafini, you talked about it. This is about prosperity. It's about property rights, about freedom. It's about economic development for all peoples of the world. And we all know that we want clean water and clean air for every citizen of the world.

But we know too that delivering on the next generation of energy, clean energy that is sufficient and affordable for every person, especially those who are suffering today because they can't turn the lights on or they can't turn the air conditioning on—things that we take for granted in so many places of the world—we know that we must make sure that we deliver on this basic constituent of peace, the basic prosperity, the energy that is needed to deliver to the poorest, food security, and deliver comfort and peace for those who suffer today.  There is hope. That hope comes from speaking truth.

Now, I want to close by speaking about the idea of a federation. We're here today as part of a gathering of the Universal Peace Federation. America is familiar with federations. We had one at the start. It was called the Articles of Confederation.  It was insufficient for governing in the nation, but it is wholly sufficient for assisting and delivering peace around the world.

The very concept of a federation suggests that there is no center point, there is no command and control structure. Rather, what it requires is for each of the constituent communities, each of the governments, each of the nongovernmental organizations, each of the leaders, each of you in this room today, to remain resolved to speak the truth and to live in hope and with joy.

This will not come, this peace, this universal peace, this will not come from the top down. This will come from the hard work and efforts of all of you in this room, by the various leaders that we have heard today making clear that we understand who the aggressors are and who the peace-loving people are, that we speak the truth about this, that we are hopeful for our future and we are dedicated to delivering it.

No one will order peace. Peace will be ordered by the love and the kindness and the joy and the hard work of those who come together as part of this leadership conference. And those who, when we depart, when we decamp from this place in a day or two, will go back to their communities. They will go back to their schools, they will go back to their families, and they will continue to work on this very problem, this very goal, this very objective that we all know is so central to humanity and to the dignity of every human being.

Bless you for taking time to come here. Thank you for [giving me] the opportunity to speak with you. Let us all be truthful and hopeful, and let us, as part of this federation, deliver the very peace here in the [Korean Peninsula] and all around the world that every human being so desires and so deserves.



To go to the World Summit 2022 Schedule page, click here.