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S. Harper: Address to Summit 2022, Session III

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


Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much.

Distinguished world leaders, ladies and gentlemen: I am delighted to be here today. I am honored to have been part of the Rallies of Hope, the World Summits, and now this Summit and Leadership Conference.  And I am very encouraged to see so many distinguished guests coming here from around the world to advocate for freedom and peace on the Korean Peninsula, in the Indo-Pacific region, and throughout the world.

I wish to commend the Universal Peace Federation for continuing to convene such historic conferences.  In particular, I want to commend your leadership team: Chairman [Thomas] Walsh, International President [Michael] Jenkins, Canadian President [Franco] Famularo, and, of course, for her leadership and ongoing vision, your co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me also give a word for my late colleague. We were all terribly shocked by the murder of my friend and colleague, [former Japanese Prime Minister] Shinzo Abe. … The subjects I’m going to talk about today—deterrence, strength, alliance, peace—I don’t think there was any leader in my time who better understood those, and he will be deeply missed by all of us.

As I have said before, the situation in Northeast Asia is critically important for the whole world. That’s why my country, Canada, joined with 15 other nations to preserve freedom during the Korean War and why Canada has remained an active part of the Allied Command with troops here in the South.

But this year, the issues of international peace and security have undergone a sea-change with the events that began only 12 days after I last spoke here in February. I am referring, of course, to Vladimir Putin’s brutal, unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ladies and gentlemen—friends, if I may—since then, the topline story in much of the global media has been about the unity of purpose of the democratic world, including South Korea, in opposition to Putin’s invasion.

But this obscures what should be the real lesson of this crisis. Unity and strength after a war has begun are important, but it is far more important to show strength in peacetime through deterrence, because that is how war is avoided in the first place.

And on that, the West, and in particular the present U.S. administration, utterly failed. Indeed, while predicting repeatedly that the Russian invasion would happen, the Biden administration promised Ukraine virtually nothing in the way of military support in the lead-up to the invasion.

In fact, the stark reality, my friends, is this: At any time between 1991 and February 23 of this year, had NATO admitted Ukraine as a member, as many of us wanted, none of this horrible destruction and loss of life would now be happening.

A similar lack of deterrence is evident much closer to here. For example, the United States, Canada and their Western allies continue to be ambiguous in their commitment to helping the people of Taiwan preserve their democracy.

Such can only encourage the growing belligerence of the People’s Republic of China toward its neighbors,  not just against Taiwan but also against India and in the South China Sea, not to mention its continuing tacit encouragement of its client-state, the DPRK,  which could not exist without the support of the PRC, and, which, under this present U.S. administration, has resumed its aggressive actions. In fact, an unprecedented 31 missiles have been tested since January 1.

Our message to the DPRK must be clear: North Korea must stop violating the United Nations Security Council Resolution which bans missile testing. All nuclear tests must stop. And the democratic alliance against this must remain strong. 

If the Allied nations are strong in will, and sincere in desire for peace and development, we will never have a hot war in Asia.  

But if, as with Ukraine, the United States and its allies send messages of weakness and hesitation,  then we fail to deter, and we open the door to catastrophic possibilities.

It is particularly important that we do not allow China, which has made clear its aspirations for hegemony in the Indo-Pacific, to weaken the alliance or to exacerbate historical tensions between Japan and Korea.

Friends, just as Japan was once Canada's enemy but has now become one of our closest allies and partners, so with South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, advocating for strong cooperation with Japan, we can be optimistic that the democratic alliance in this part of the world will deepen.

But just as it is important to provide deterrence against the DPRK in its relationship with the Republic of Korea, and against the PRC in its relationship with Taiwan, we must also strive to see those nations become constructive members of the global community.

We want to see China use its considerable leverage to help North Korea give up its nuclear weapons, and we want to bring North Korea into the community of nations.

If North Korea commits to complete, verifiable denuclearization, then I am sure South Korea, the United States, Canada, and all our allies will strongly support security assurances, economic development for the North, and a path to its full normalization as a nation.

But until North Korea comes back to the table for dialogue and negotiation, the Republic of Korea and its allies have no choice but to take strong measures for deterrence and defense against aggression from the North.

Friends, this country, the Republic of Korea, has not, does not, and never will seek war. Because democracies do not, because when ordinary people are free, they want peace and prosperity, not war and destruction.

Yes, as I’ve said before, always have “peace in your hearts.” Never miss an opportunity to reach out to the North and to pursue it.

But also, never drop your guard, and never fail to deter the DPRK from its most bellicose ambitions.

That is how security on the Korean Peninsula will be maintained and how, eventually, true peace will be achieved.

Thank you once again for inviting me to be here.

God bless all of you in the Universal Peace Federation for your efforts.

Merci beaucoup.



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