August 15, 2022
Kintex, Seoul | South Korea
Anyonghaseyo! Anyonghaseyo! Anyonghaseyo!
I was told that this was where all the greatest patriots of this nation of South Korea have gathered. Am I correct in that assumption?
Today we are celebrating the 77th Anniversary of Korean liberation, the day that encapsulates the hopes and dreams of our ancestors all the way back to the founding vision of the Korean people in the Dangun mythology. There, based upon the Hongik Ingan ideal, we were mandated by Heaven to build a model nation that could be an inspiration for all humanity. Our people have a 5,000-year history. And throughout the entirety of that history, we have tried to uphold the Hongik Ingan ideal.
In the tumultuous 20th century when tremendous changes were happening around the world, especially imposed by Western powers, Korea was swept up into that storm. When Korea was annexed by the Japanese empire and we lost our identity and our future, the one philosophy, the one ideal that held the Korean people together, whether they were on the peninsula or abroad, was the Hongik Ingan ideal and the promise of building a model nation that could be an inspiration for all humanity.
I’m proud to say that my father and my father’s family were intimately tied to that legacy, for my great-grand uncle was one of the key inspirations behind the creation of the Korean Declaration of Independence that marked the Samil Independence Movement.
For what was the aspiration of the Samil Independence Movement? It was to create a Western-style nation that also had the Hongik Ingan ideal so that it could be a nation that inspired not only Asia but the rest of the world.
Have you read the Declaration of Independence of the Samil Movement?
Have the young people in this area read it?
I recommend you read it. It captures the jungsung of the Hongik Ingan ideal.
The founders of that declaration had a vision that a united and independent Korea, that uplifted the ideals of Hongik Ingan, would even work with the very nation that oppressed their people – Japan. The Hongik Ingan jungsung and spirit allowed the founders of that declaration to dream a greater dream than just their national identity but a dream for the entire human race, that would set an example for what a world of peace could look like.
We are celebrating that vision and that ideal on this day, because that vision and that hope marked the aspiration of the Korean people upon liberation in 1945. But what happened to that dream? Instead of holding onto that uniquely Korean dream, we adopted the very frameworks of division that had basically encapsulated the Western world. It was imposed upon the Korean people. 1945, which should have been a tremendous year of hope for the Korean people, became the moment of our devastation as the Korean peninsula was swept up in the global ideological conflict between the free world and Communism.
From 1945 to 1948, the Korean people still held onto that dream, especially here in the South. Efforts were made by the Korean people to engage the North and Kim Il Sung to open up the country for free elections across the entire Korean peninsula as mandated by the United Nations. However, that did not happen. Yet, that dream never died. That dream exists in the DNA of every Korean, here and abroad.
As long as we hold on to that dream, regardless of what nation, what government, whatever institution divides the Korean family, as long as we hold on to that dream, that dream shall never die.
Something is stirring here in this nation of Korea. It is the beginning of a tremendous storm that will sweep across this land, bringing a transformation never imagined by those with no imagination. Today, I was told that I was going to speak in front of the patriots of Korea that never allowed the dream of the Hongik Ingan ideal to create a model nation, that you never allowed that dream to die. Am I right?
This day has that significance for the Korean people because of our national aspiration to be a model nation that can be an inspiration. What is happening in the world today? Many told me when I started the unification movement, more than 10 years back, that the Korean people are not interested in unification. That they are interested in many other issues before unification; that unification will not happen in my lifetime.
Yet, two weeks after I started this movement for reunification, Kim Jong-il died. Shortly thereafter, the geopolitical circumstances in the world were such that unification constantly came up on the national agenda of South Korea and North Korea. So, there were larger forces at play that were pushing the unification agenda.
Just as I challenged of all you, the dream of unification never died in me, or never died in my family, for our DNA and our bone marrow is tied to this vision and this ideal. So, even though I was told that no one else was interested in Korean reunification, I knew, based upon my identity as a Korean, and that aspiration of the Korean people that had inspired generations of my family, I knew that same DNA existed within every Korean, not only here in Korea but North Korea and around the world.
All that was needed was a vision or a catalyst that drives that momentum forward and reawakens the already existent seed of Hongik Ingan in every Korean around the world.
You all have that DNA. The aspiration to create the greatest nation that can be an inspiration for all.
Look at what is happening in the world today to drive this vision forward and make this a greater possibility than ever before. One of the things I want you to understand is that unification will not happen from inter-governmental negotiations between the South and the North; nor any negotiation among any of the superpowers around us. That paradigm has been tried for eight decades and it has completely failed over and over and over again.
I believe it was Einstein who said, “The sign of insanity is to do the same thing and hope for a different outcome.” That is why we need to understand clearly that unification is going to be realized through something different than inter-governmental negotiations for reunification. But, like I said, there is something stirring on this land that is turning into something bigger and bigger and sweeping across the peninsula and the rest of the world.
The geopolitical circumstances today marked by the rise of statist powers that violate fundamental human rights and freedoms and do not even recognize the rights of their neighbors, remind us that there are larger, greater threats on the horizon. The world once again is being divided between Western democracies that advocate fundamental freedoms and human rights and these statist powers that still hold on to the idea that the almighty state determines what human rights are. That is why it is more important than ever that every Western democratic nation recognizes where true freedom and where true human rights come from.
As a student of history, one should realize that the idea of fundamental human rights and freedoms is a modern phenomenon. It did not exist throughout the entire human history. The nation that fathered those ideas is the United States of America. And as a student of American history, more than the Constitution, the most important document in America’s founding is the Declaration of Independence because it states the principles upon which the new republic would be built. The most pregnant phrase, that has been quoted throughout the world, is the second paragraph of that declaration. What does it say? This is the basis upon which all Western democracies were formed. It said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In other words, our rights do not come from government, or a nation, they come from God.
The second aspect of the Declaration is this: that the purpose of government is to ensure that those rights given to us by our Creator, are maintained by any government formed on this land. Many people who do not live in America always wonder why there is a Second Amendment to the Constitution. That is directly tied to the third component of the Declaration which tells the American people that if a government is formed that abridges those rights and freedoms, it is your duty to get rid of that government and build a new one that makes sure that those rights and freedoms are maintained.
That is why, although America had these high ideals, America was made to maintain those freedoms and rights for their citizens. This understanding of this truth is all the more important in the environment in which we live today, with the rise of statist regimes.
The Korean Dream envisioned a nation rooted in the Hongik Ingan ideal that will uphold fundamental freedoms and human rights. Therefore, it has to be a nation that is built upon God’s sovereignty.
We have to build a new nation based upon God’s sovereignty.
It has to be a nation that upholds the highest virtues and ideals of the Western democracies that can inspire the world. It has to be a nation that absolutely guarantees fundamental freedoms and human rights and therefore has to be a nation that is built upon the ideal of God’s sovereignty.
That is why this day is so important for us as a Korean people. It reminds us of what still needs to be fulfilled.
That is why, on this very day, three years from now, we plan to shake this peninsula, shake this region, and shake the world with the voices of tens of millions of Koreans that have re-ignited the Korean Dream that laid dormant within them.
I never end without a challenge, for this is a sacred moment in our history where we are bringing alive the dormant vision and destiny of the Korean people, embodied in Hongik Ingan, to create an ideal nation.
This is just the beginning. You should all become the seeds that can spread this vision and spark a reawakening in the DNA of your Korean neighbors who might not yet have had that spark ignited within them.
So, those of you who are committed to that task over the next three years, let us stand. Let us stand. Just like a seed coming up from the ground. Stand up! Stand proud!
Will you become the owner of the Korean Dream and bring a transformation to this land where the long-lost hope and dream of building a model nation can be realized? Yes or no? Can you become owners? Can you?
May God bless you and your families. Thank you very much.