Welcoming Speech at the welcome banquet for the 2019 International
Youth Pilgrimage to the DMZ
19:00 on August 19, 2019 at the Center for Unified Korean Future
By Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul
It is good to see you all.
I would like to extend my warm welcome to all of you for
participating in the 2019 International Youth Pilgrimage to the DMZ.
I am particularly pleased to have this meaningful event at the
Center for Unified Korean Future under the Ministry of Unification.
I would like to extend my special thanks and warm welcome to
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, Yeoncheon
Mayor Kim Kwang-cheol, Fifth Infantry Division commander Lee
Sang-chul, Bishop Peter Chung Soon-taek, and Bishop Job Koo Yo-bi for
joining us today.
I know that you are suffering in the sweltering heat, but you have
shown that your passion for peace is more intense than the hot sun now
bearing down on the Korean Peninsula.
West German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said, “Peace is
not everything, but everything is nothing without peace.”
This certainly implies the importance of peace.
Like the air that we breathe, whether we realize or not, peace has a
great impact on our lives at this very moment.
In particular, the three inter-Korean summit talks and the September
19 inter-Korean military agreement of last year significantly eased
military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the residents in this
border area are already experiencing the benefits of peace.
They no longer have to fear war nor the shrill sounds of
loudspeakers. Now, they are able to enjoy their lives in safety and peace.
The demilitarized zone (DMZ), where you have walked around since
last Friday, is coming back to the people.
Our future is based on an unwavering, solid peace because security,
the economy, growth, and prosperity cannot be guaranteed without peace.
The peace economy mentioned by President Moon Jae-in in his
Liberation Day speech is a gift of peace that young people will enjoy.
The peace economy will help the government reduce the cost of
division and instead support the young generation in realizing their
However, peace does not come overnight. Small acts by ordinary
people accumulate and gather momentum to change the great stream of history.
Peace will finally become ours when we continually discuss peace and
our daily lives and our minds keep pace with an era of peace.
In this regard, every small step you have taken during this
pilgrimage has important meaning.
I expect that as you are from different countries with different
languages and cultures, you share the value of peace and will become
reliable fellow travelers to each other on the path toward peace on
the Korean Peninsula and in the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Jesus Christ once said,
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”
I ask each of you to be a person who makes peace after this
pilgrimage and to take interest and participate in the matters of the
Your avid interest and participation will do much to realize an
irreversible peace and to build a Korean Peninsula of common prosperity.
I wish you all a safe and healthy stay at the Center for Unified
Korean Future and that you have a fun and productive time.