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M. Pompeo: Address to Summit 2022, Special Program Honoring the Life and Legacy of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

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


Distinguished world leaders, ladies and gentlemen, it is a true privilege to be with you here today. It is an honor to be part of this memorial program to honor the life of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

Having had the chance to visit North Korea and having met so many who lost their families and loved ones due to the Korean War in the 72 years of separation between North and South Korea, I know the unspeakable pain in the Korean people’s hearts for those who lost their loved ones. I know the pain has been deep in the heart of Rev. and Dr. Moon, yet through that pain, they have worked to reunite North and South Korea. This is a story of love, passion and a deep understanding about what makes people great.

Rev. Moon, as you know, was born in North Korea. He grew up under Japan’s occupation until America brought it to an end after the Soviet-backed communists led by Kim Il-sung took over North Korea. Rev. Moon was arrested, imprisoned and tortured along with many others, including other Christian pastors. He was sent to Hungnam, a North Korean communist death camp, and spent two years and eight months there. Every day prisoners were forced to read the communist Marxist doctrine. During this time, Rev. Moon learned the critical flaws of communist ideology, the most fundamental of which denies the existence of our God and the value of every human life.

Two things happened in that prison camp. First, Rev. Moon survived because of his faith in a loving God. Second, he determined he would devote his entire life to helping the world free itself of and overcome communism. Rev. Moon saw clearly why communism would always seek to destroy religion, because faithful obedience to God leaves no room for submission to a totalitarian regime. He also knew that it is only God’s love that can satisfy the human soul and no man or government can make itself ruler over men and women who have been born free.

War came here to the Korean Peninsula. Thanks to Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers and their landing at Incheon, United Nations coalition troops—many of whom were American and, like my father, served in the navy during that war—bombed Hungnam and the prisoners escaped from their hell. Rev. Moon did not flee, though; he went back to Pyongyang to gather church members who would go with him to the south. Even when he had finally found freedom, Rev. Moon continued to work every day to save others. He walked to the border, crossed it and came back to Seoul to found the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. He called for the unity of all Christians and for each of us to love one another. He taught that Christianity, through strong families and faith in the Lord, must not oppose God and must constantly oppose God-denying communism.

The Lord then blessed him. He married Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in 1960 and the church continued to grow. Due to his experience with communism, he knew that it was critical that Japan and Korea join America to stop the expansion of communism in Asia and indeed all around the world. This remains true today.

He began by starting what became Victory Over Communism activities to educate Japanese and Korean students that communism as an ideology was empty and barren of hope and love. He offered a different view, one which affirms that God is the origin of all life, and challenged the fallacies of communist ideologies everywhere. He worked tirelessly to stop communism and understood the importance of America and its place in fighting communism.

He had seen it when he was freed from that prison camp in North Korea, that America must be strong, moral and free and have a free press. He knew that America must be supported by the timeless pillars of freedom, faith and family. I could not agree more. In 1982, Rev. and Dr. Moon started The Washington Times, which is also when I began my journey as a young cadet. This year it will celebrate its 40th anniversary, which is a testament to the work and vision of Rev. and Dr. Moon. This lovely story, this remarkable history is where I would like to close today.

This last remarkable story of Rev. Moon’s life has to do with North Korean dictator Kim Il- sung, who had sent assassins to kill Rev. and Dr. Moon in South Korea and when they traveled to America. Undeterred by this danger, Rev. and Dr. Moon resolved that they would love their enemy no matter the potential personal costs to each of them. This was as they knew, as Christ had commanded his faithful to do many years ago on the shores of Galilee. In this spirit, they went to the north to meet with Kim Il-sung in 1991. They went with sincerity in their hearts and a deep desire to help North Korea move towards freedom and democracy. Many would have balked at such a mission, thinking that two people should not take such a risk because the likelihood of North Korea changing decades of division to tyranny was simply too great—but Rev. and Dr. Moon did not go there as two people. No, they went there instead as humble servants of the Lord called to spread His word in His name and in that place.

In his preparation meeting with Chairman Kim’s close advisor, Rev. Moon boldly proclaimed that Kim’s juche ideology would not work, for it denies the existence of a living God who we all know and love. Many expected that the meeting with Chairman Kim would be canceled because he had said that and even feared that Rev. and Dr. Moon’s delegation might be arrested for having uttered their commitment to the Lord. Instead, a miracle occurred. Chairman Kim welcomed them to a dinner and they talked like distant relatives brought together after a long separation. Rev. and Dr. Moon broke bread with their persecutor just as Christ had broken bread with sinners.

This meeting marked the beginning of a long peace process of which I was privileged to be a small part during my time as America’s secretary of state. I am humbled and thrilled to be here today because I know that one day we will see the Korean people united in freedom.

Following Rev. Moon’s passing, Dr. Moon has continued this noble great work that she and her husband had spent their lives engaged in. She embraces leaders who are with us today from all across the world, from the Middle East and Asia; Africa, Europe and the Americas; and China, Russia and North Korea. We have seen over these last few days leaders from everywhere joining her in her efforts to bring North and South Korea together peacefully. She has done magnificent work in expanding what she and her husband started. Bless you Madam Moon.

On this memorial day, my wife, Susan, and I want to thank Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for their work towards peace, and we pray for Dr. Moon’s success in bringing North and South Korea together. It is the Lord’s work. God bless all of you, and may we one day gather in peace together.

Thank you.



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