Global Peace Foundation’s Founder, Hyun Jin Moon Believes that The Korea Reunification Issue Cannot Be Resolved through Politics and Diplomacy Alone

Global Peace Foundation
April 16, 2013

A civilian track will be more effective, GPF Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon says in an interview.

In a wide-ranging interview with Joong Ang Daily, published on April 6, 2013, in Seoul, Korea, Global Peace Foundation International Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon emphasized the need for new approaches in reconciling the division of the Korean peninsula. He discussed the striking similarity of Korea’s ancient philosophy of Hongik Ingan and the freedoms and human rights outlined in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. And he stressed the need for religious leaders to transcend the limiting confines of religious institutions and aspire to be spiritual leaders who can speak to the concerns of all people.  The following is taken from the interview, conducted in Seattle, Washington.

Korean unification

“The issue of Korean unification will fundamentally impact the course of how human history advances. I am very frustrated about how narrow the thinking of Korea’s leadership is. If you study the Hongik Ingan philosophy and the founding story of Gojoseon (Korea’s first kingdom), you realize all the basic merits that advocate for fundamental human rights and freedoms that the United States espoused with its creation in 1776 are there. This is not an ancient philosophy. It is amazing that this was the founding idea of Korea five thousand years ago. The Hongik Ingan philosophy is in a way the thread that holds the two people of South and North together.

“Thanks to my father [Rev. Sun Myung Moon, 1920-2012], I had the unique opportunity to observe his efforts for unification. . . . My father was the one who opened the door to North Korea, and the current unification efforts are based on what I learned through those experiences. What is more effective than the inter-governmental dialogue and political solutions of Track 1 diplomacy is a Track 2 civilian-level peace movement. This is the approach GPF is taking.

GPF’s Allights Village project supports rural communities in the Philippines, Kenya, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mongolia.

“Let me give you two examples. We recently helped arrange a meeting with national representatives of the Mongolian government in Washington D.C. to meet with top think-tanks. Mongolia wants to become a seventh member of the six-party talks. These are based on ideas that I shared with the Mongolian government in 2011. This type of vision can change the landscape of geopolitics in Northeast Asia. In Africa, in Kenya, GPF contributed to the drafting of a new constitution. Our efforts led to the recent successful election without bloodshed. Civic NGOs are able to accomplish what the UN has not been able to do.

“One of the things that the [GPF-supported] Korea United initiative is doing is bringing together all of these NGOs under one banner. Currently about 400 organizations are working together including conservatives, liberals, Christian, and Buddhist organizations.

“Last year GPF established a bakery in North Korean to feed undernourished children. Every day the plant produces 5,000 baked goods that are distributed to local kindergartens and grade schools for lunch. Bread has a short shelf-life compared to flour, and this way, there is less possibility for the food to be used by the North Korean military. My hope is that we will be able to eventually bring the All-Lights Village project [which provides solar lanterns to rural communities in the Philippines, Kenya, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mongolia] into North Korea to provide light in regions with no electricity.”

Faith and leadership

From top: Dr. Hyun Jin Moon during the interview. During the Global Peace Leadership Conference held in Korea last year, U.S. Congressmen Hon. Eni Faleomavaega (Left) and Hon. Mike Honda (Right) present Dr. Moon with an appreciation plaque.

“In a spiritual movement, position does not matter. Moral authority is what is most important. I’m not a political person. Therefore, I have no interest in the internal politics of an organization. . . Leaders [of faith] should strive to become spiritual leaders rather than just religious leaders. If they can get out of their own religious boxes, they can do great work which can influence the entire humanity.

“If Mahatma Gandhi just represented the Hindus, he could not have led the national movement of India, which was made of Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. But, he aspired for something greater than just the religion that he was a part of. It was the same thing with Martin Luther King, Jr. If he talked on behalf of just Southern Baptists, there is no way he could have led the Civil Rights Movement. I believe that there are fundamental universal principles and values that all the faith traditions share. Actually, I would say about 80 to 85 percent of what people of faith believe, regardless of their faith tradition, are the same.

“A Great Awakening was a key factor for the movements led by Gandhi and Dr. King. These two pioneers touched upon universal principles and values that moved their nations and its people to eventually have political solutions that secured the rights of Blacks and all minorities.”

“The standard of leadership that I am advocating around the world is moral and innovative leadership. The financial crisis in America is not due to a breakdown of the global financial system. It was due to the erosion of the moral and ethical foundation that made American capitalism great.

The complete Joong Ang Daily interview with GPF Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon is available on Hyun Jin

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