Unification News for December 2002
Ambassadors for Peace Friendship Rally for the Unification of North and South Korea
About 2,500 Ambassadors for Peace and other VIPs representing Gyeonggi Province, Incheon City and Gangwon Province gathered under the auspices of the IIFWP (Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace) to hold Ambassadors for Peace Friendship Summit for the Unification of North and South Korea at Mount Yongmun Campground located at Yangpyeong in Gyeonggi Province at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 20 November 2002.
To promote friendship among the Ambassadors for Peace who had been appointed at various workshops and events, and to look back at the past year's activities, the Summit was actually decentralized to three locations one day after another, with the Seoul - Chungcheong Province group event at Mount Gyeryong on Thursday the 21st and the Gyeongsang Province - Jeolla Province - Jeju group at Mount Jiri on Friday the 22nd.
The format of these events consisted of two parts, the first of which began with the call by the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Cho Sung Nak, to salute the National Flag, followed by words of greeting and encouragement by Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International President Rev. Dr. Hwang Sun-jo and IIFWP International Chairman Rev. Dr. Kwak Chung-hwan respectively. After reports had been given by peace ambassadors Oh Myung-shik and Yu Jeong, a brotherhood ceremony was held for the various peace ambassador associations representing their respective cities (shi), counties (gun) and districts (gu). Representative prayers for the Unification of North and South Korea were offered before the announcements, which preceded the closing three cheers of mansei.
In his words of greeting, Rev. Dr. Hwang Sun-jo emphasized the mission of the Ambassadors of Peace, namely to embody the world of peace, achieve the Unification of North and South Korea, and contribute to the promotion of the culture of heart, urging them to be morally exemplary in their daily life and to focus their energies on resolving local conflicts as well as global problems. Having clarified the intent of the summit, he enjoined the participants to greet each other by a handshake and an embrace, thus engendering a congenial spirit of brotherhood.
In his stirring remarks, Rev. Dr. Kwak Chung-hwan said, "Although the whole world desires peace, it continues to exist under the threat and fear of wars and crises. Yet, throughout the course of history, God always gives us opportunities and hope in the midst of our crises." Mentioning is North Korean nuclear weapon issue and highly advanced scientific development, he introduced the Rev Dr. Sun Myung Moon above all as a man who has paved the way for world peace with an unchanging heart in a world fraught with uncertainty. Calling upon the participants to take pride in their position as Ambassadors of Peace working at the global level on the foundation laid through the sweat, tears and blood shed by the Rev. Dr. Moon, he urged them to accord the highest possible priority to the ending of Korea's North-South problem.
Between October 19th and November 7th, about 300 Ambassadors for Peace visited North Korea on three different occasions in a first-ever private visit of North Korea by South Koreans since the partition of their country. Two delegates shared their impressions as follows: Northern Gyeonggi peace ambassador Oh Myung-shik highlighted the economic plight of the North and issued an appeal on its behalf, thanking the sponsors for having afforded him the unprecedented opportunity to visit the North. Southern Gyeonggi Peace Ambassadors Association Vice-President Yu Jeong confessed not being able to hold back his tears upon witnessing the misery of his compatriots in the North for whom he harbored deep brotherly love.
The reports having been submitted, a brotherhood ceremony was conducted matching various peace ambassador associations representing their respective cities (shi), counties (gun) and districts (gu). Amidst much joyful festivity, the representatives of the newly-formed brotherhoods shook hands and embraced each other in a touching moment.
Thereafter, Federation President Park Won-geun, Buddhist Taego (Denomination) Monk Seol-san and Peace Ambassador Gu Jong-seo came up on the stage to recite the Prayer for World Peace and to release balloons containing its verses into the key simultaneously following the cue of the master of ceremonies. As the balloons ascended rapidly toward the heavens, the participating peace ambassadors responded with great shouts of joy and a din of applause.
Incheon City's Federation Chairman Kim Heung-tae led three victorious cheers of mansei to conclude the first part of the program. The latter half of the program required the participants to embark on a mountain hike with a prayerful heart for the realization of North-South Unification. At the end of the hike, a meal was served and the participants made use of the occasion to meet up with their newly-matched brothers for a quality time of fellowship and common reflection.
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