President, August 2015 issue (Korean Mainstream Monthly Magazine)
Translated by PR Department of Tongil Foundation
‘Peace Road 2015’
Launching the World Peace Festival
‘One World, One Korea’ Let’s Move the World
Will the spring of peace finally come to the Korean Peninsula, the only remaining divided nation in the world? Last year, President Park Geun-Hye shouted, “Unification is daebak (like hitting the jackpot).” This year marks 70 years since Korea’s liberation and 70 years since its division. Various broadcasts and newspapers have been developing diverse initiatives under the topic of unification, raising the citizens’ level of interest concerning unification. Amidst all this, the Citizens Federation for the Unification of North and South Korea, a unification preparation consultation group responsible for advising the president, hosted the “Peace Road 2015,” which will last no less than 90 days.
The “Peace Road 2015” was launched for a duration of 90 days from May 30 to August 30, and is a project established to reduce conflict and war between races, religions and nations that are occurring around the world. It is a project involving people from all over the world gathering their will for peace. Governmental organizations including the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, the Congressional Unification Future Forum, the president’s advisory group which is the unification preparation committee of the Citizens Federation for the Unification of North and South Korea, as well as the UN economic society board of directors’ special consultation organizations such as Universal Peace Federation (UPF), Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, World Peace Tunnel Foundation, Segye Times, The Washington Times and many more organizations around the world, are participating in this project and showing great interest and passion for the unification of the Korean Peninsula. The Citizens Federation for the Unification of North and South Korea had organized the first Peace Road project in 2013, and last year it hosted an event where overseas Koreans and foreigners from 14 countries biked a distance of 6000 kilometers, arriving at the Imjingak Pavilion. During these last two years, it has been preparing for the “Peace Road 2015” when Korea commemorates 70 years of liberation and 70 years of division.
The Peace Road Project was organized based on the “International Peace Highway” project, which was officially proposed by Rev. Sun Myung Moon during the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences that was held in Seoul in 1981. It meant bringing humanity together and resolving the world’s wars and conflicts by connecting the entire world with one road, and thereby opening a peaceful era. In Rev. Moon’s autobiography, “As a Peace Loving Citizen,” he says that, “Rome was able to revive because all the roads in the world passed through Rome.” He elucidated the importance of building the International Peace Highway. The core point of this Peace Road emphasized by Rev. Moon was that a connecting bridge must be built over the Bering Strait which divides the Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel from Russia and the North American continent. Currently, a survey examining the validity of the Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel has been completed, and in order to start the actual construction, the political and economic relations between the two nations of Korea and Japan remains to be examined and understood. An affiliate from the Tongil Group explained that, “In order to construct the Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel, the willingness of the leaders from both nations is important. When the Japan-Korea Undersea Tunnel will be completed, it will be connected to the Bering Strait through North Korea and China. Then all the nations of the world will be like one nation and they can engage in active exchange in various aspects such as politics, economics and society. Through this, the unification of the Korean Peninsula will come to be accomplished naturally.”
Rev. Moon said, “The Korean Peninsula is a microcosm of the world’s situation; therefore, when the Korean Peninsula sheds blood, the world also sheds blood. If the Korean Peninsula can reconcile, then the world can reconcile; and if the Korean Peninsula can unite, then the world can unite.” Rev. Moon, who spearheaded peace and unification activities during the course of his entire life, passed away in 2012 at the age of 93.
The Cape of Good Hope, Santiago, Las Vegas Launching Ceremonies
On May 30, the “Peace Road 2015” was launched simultaneously in Las Vegas in the USA, The Cape of Good Hope in Africa and in Santiago, Chile, where the race officially began. The participants were men and women of all ages, from infants to the elderly. The participants wore uniforms with “One World, One Korea” written on them, and during the event, they gave out uniforms to the citizens, danced and sang songs, creating a truly festive atmosphere. They also attached flags with “World Peace” printed on them, as well as their own countries’ flags, onto their bikes and raced with them. Up until today, August 15, there was a total of 112 nations that signed up including 32 nations from Africa, two nations from the Middle East, 25 nations from Europe, 19 nations from Asia, 11 nations from South America, 14 nations from Central America, three from North America and six nations from Oceania. Peace Road Races are being held in 50 nations. The Peace Road Committee revealed, “Recently, more and more nations are trying to participate in the ‘Peace Road 2015,’ and we will have more than 120 participating nations by the end of August.”
The 90-day Peace Road project starting from Africa’s Cape of Good Hope all the way to Santiago, Chile went through the Africa-Europe-Middle East-Asia Route, as well as the South America-Central America-North America-Japan Route, culminating at the Korean Peninsula. Various nations around the world are participating by diverse means, including walking, bicycling and driving, despite the heat. In Africa, 20 nations, including South Africa, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, D.R Congo and Nigeria, participated. Also, in the Middle East the event was held in Israel and Lebanon transcending religion and race. In Europe, six nations, including Poland, Czech, Spain and Finland, participated and in Asia it was held in Nepal and Hong Kong. In South America, the race began in Chile and continued through 10 nations including Bolivia and Peru. In Central America, eight nations, including Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador, participated. In North America, it was held in the US and in Mexico. There will be a special Peace Road photo exhibition at the UN Headquarters on August 4 and at the US Congress on August 6. Starting on July 20, Japan plans on bicycling from the northernmost region of Cape Nosappu to the southernmost region of Okinawa, covering a distance of 10,000 kilometers over a period of a month. In Korea, representative participants from each region rode together from Pusan on August 21 and arrived in Seoul on the 27th. They also plan to hold events in every metropolitan city along the way. On August 27, there will be a welcoming ceremony at the South Korea National Assembly commemorating the conclusion of the Peace Road. Representative participants from all over the world are preparing to ride to Gwang Hwa Mun.
“15,000 participants from 120 nations will participate in this Peace Road project. Through this project, we hope to raise awareness that the unification of the only divided nation in the world and the establishment of World Peace Parks in the Demilitarized Zones (DMZ) is the cornerstone of world peace. We hope to get the support and cooperation of the global community.”
Participants, Longing for a Peaceful and Unified Korean Peninsula With no more War
Patrick Smith, a university student from California, who participated in the world launching of the bike race in Las Vegas on May 30 said, “Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s vision for peace has inspired me to find a way to contribute to the world. This is the reason I decided to participate in this ‘Peace Road’ project organized along the routes where Rev. Moon’s proposed to build the ‘World Peace Highway.’ It might seem crazy to ride bike on a day like today when it is close to 40 degrees outside, but this challenge holds deep meaning for me, as it is a new start and an opportunity for me to contribute substantially towards realizing Rev. Moon’s vision.” In Santiago, Chile, which was the starting place for the bike race in South America, Mayor Carolina Tohá Morales delivered a message of encouragement, “I am grateful that the Peace Road decided to have its starting point here in Santiago, Chile, and I hope that everything goes according to plan until it ends in Korea.” On June 3, Governor Felix Patzi of La Paz Bolivia, along with his wife, signed the Peace Road banner, “Let’s go the path of peace together,” and encouraged the participants saying, “I hope for peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula where there will be no more war.”
In Colombia on June 29, Korean War veteran and former Colonel Guillermo conveyed, “I hope that from now on Korea can become a nation without war or battles, and that peace can come to the Korean Peninsula through this Peace Road.” Army Captain Capita Murcia conveyed a hopeful message of peace in Korea, “The Colombian army is very close with Korea. I hope that Asia can become peaceful and North and South Korea can become unified through this Peace Road.” In Korea on June 24, Governor Shi-Jong Lee of Chungcheongbuk-do Province gave his encouragements with the phrase, “Unification and Peace starts in Chungbuk!!” on the Peace Road banner.
The Peace Road 2015 Organization Committee said, “15,000 participants from 120 nations will participate in this Peace Road project. Through this project, we hope to raise awareness that the unification of the only divided nation in the world, as well as the establishment of World Peace Parks in the Demilitarized Zones (DMZ), is the cornerstone of world peace. We hope to gather the support and cooperation of the global community.”