At the Action for Korea United Festival on August 15, 2022, twenty thousand Korean citizens pledged to build a grassroots base that would gather 10 million people by 2025 to mark the 80th anniversary of Liberation Day.
Chungcheon region was the third in a series of regional events held throughout Korea to start this work. Thousands gathered in on February 11, 2023 to expand the grassroots, citizen-led movement in the region.
[Korean: Hello! Before I begin, I have a request. I will speak in English because it is more comfortable. Is that ok?] I want to thank all of you for coming today. First of all, there are too many VIPs that are gathered here today that I cannot recognize all of you so, I want to give all of you a round of applause.
The most important thing for you to take away from this gathering today is that “I have to become the owner of the Korean Dream.”
There is a quote that I often use, a quote from Genghis Khan. Throughout history – he is the most consequential figure of the last half millennium. Basically, that quote summarizes a truth that was realized in human history –which is, “If one person has a dream, it is but a dream. But if everyone can share in that dream it can become a reality.”
Are we dreamers that are gathered here today? Yes or no? [Yes!] Then I guess I’ve come to the right place. Because I am the biggest dreamer of all, for I authored the Korean Dream, which is not only for Koreans but for the entire world.
What if I was to tell you that the Korean Dream is a dream not just for the Korean people, but a dream that can inspire all humanity in the most consequential moment of human history?
At a time when humanity faces tremendous dangers, with the rise of statists powers such as China and Russia threatening their neighbors even with war. For a generation that grew up in the Cold War, we thought that with the end of the Cold War, that there would be an era of peace. And yet, today, in the 21st century, we face even greater threats that existed in the 20th century.
In this time, humanity needs hope, a vision that can bring us from this malaise and bring a possibility of peace in the future. Humanity needs a vision. And what is that vision? The Korean Dream. [Applause]
Before I came here to Korea to start this tour, I had a private conversation with one of the most influential academics in Washington, DC. I had a chance to tell him about the AKU movement, which is the most significant grassroots movement for unification in the history of South Korea.
There is a Ministry of Unification here in South Korea. Many people in South Korea talked about unification, but there was never a grassroots movement that represented all of the free people like we have today with AKU – never in the history of South Korea. So I told him, “What happens if we are able to mobilize, three years from now, tens of millions of not only Koreans in South Korea, but maybe in North Korea, all the Koreans in the diaspora communities of the United States, China and abroad. What will happen if we are able to mobilize tens of millions of Koreans based upon one common singular vision?” He said, “That will be the most significant, consequential event in the 21st century.” [Applause]
And I told him, “That is what I plan to do.” [Applause]
We are living in the most consequential moment of Korean history.
It was Einstein said that if you do the same effort and expect a different result, that it is insanity. And yet, for more than 70 years, now approaching 80 years, the same approach to unification has happened where we expected the two governments of North and South Korea to somehow come to an agreement upon unification without any hopes or idea of what that unification will bring. The Korean Dream changes all of that.
Its thesis is that we need to create a new nation that is rooted in the Hongik Ingan ideal that goes to our 5,00-year history and past, rooted in our providential, heavenly mandate to create an ideal nation that can serve all humanity. That was the inspiration behind our long history, the inspiration of our independence movement, of which Kim Il–Sung was a member.
Remember, both South and North Korea has its roots in the independence movement, laying claim to that entire history as well as the identity of the Korean people. An identity that is special among all the civilizations of the world that aspired for the highest, most lofty ideals that resonates with our modern values of fundamental human rights, and fundamental freedoms, 5,000 years ago. That is the Korean Dream, [Applause] that guides, through the history and the plight of the Korean people that will be liberated and free upon unification. That will be the example and the story that the world is looking for to find its way from this quagmire it is currently in today.
I’m going to teach you a word today. The thing that you have to take away from this gathering today, more than anything, is that you have to become owners. [Korean: You must become owners.] [Applause] So remember what I said, what Genghis Khan said, “If one person has a dream, it is but a dream. But if everyone can share with that dream, that will become reality.” I’m going to teach you a word, “Aju.” Much simpler to say, “Aju” than [Korean: I’m going to become an owner.]
This is a word that my father created to basically summarize the fact that you are becoming an owner.
So, do you want to become an owner? Yes or no? Aju! [Aju!] Aju! [Aju!] Aju! [Aju!]
Ooooh! I was told Cheonahn has tremendous patriots. I guess I was told something that’s truthful. [Applause]
To me, this gathering here is a small gathering. There was a time where I would not go and give a public message unless it was a crowd of 10,000 or more, because I was in such high demand. So, if I was to challenge you – I never will leave without a challenge – if I was to challenge you – if you want me to come and speak to you again, one year from now, then you must gather at least a minimum of 10,000 owners of the Korean Dream. Can you do that? Yes or no? [Yes!] [Applause.] [Korea: In that case,] I heard that President Seo Inteck is famous for giving the Korean Dream lectures. I want to challenge all of you to become better lecturers of the Korean Dream than President Seo Inteck. Can you do that? Yes or no? [Applause] Aju! [Aju!] Aju! [Aju!]
So those of you who want to become that owner and to re-spark that Korean Dream DNA in your Korean neighbors, stand up. Aju! [Aju!] Aju! [Aju!] Aju! [Aju!][Korean: Thank you.]