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Speeches and Contributions

Farewell Speech by the 40th Minister of Unification


Fellow members of the MOU(Ministry of Unification) family,
I hereby resign from the office of Minister of Unification.

In lieu of resignation, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to all of you for having believed in me and enduring a difficult journey with me in silence.

I am sorry to be leaving such a heavy burden on you.

Inter-Korean relations have deteriorated markedly, and the situation is a devastating crisis. The two Koreas are now trading feelings of disappointment and hatred, but I can state emphatically that hatred can never be defeated by hatred.

Many scars are waiting to be healed between the two Koreas. When relations worsen, the unhealed scars emerge again.
As it is, a new scar would only make the healing process all the more difficult.

The two Koreas must cease and desist from further actions that would only make matters worse, and I hope above all else that my resignation affords a respite from the hostilities and clears the way forward for the benefit of all.
I am full of sorrow for the MOU family.

None of you had much excitement or fun during my tenure. There was never an opportunity for you to get excited about work.

More regrettable than anything else to me, as Minister, is the lack of appreciation you have received for all your hard work. The burden I had to bear was greater than I could handle with the authority that had been invested in me.
It will rain heavily and the winds will blow hard for some time, but there is a line in the Chinese film Life, “If I am alive, a good day will come.”
If we refuse to fall down and instead endure this crisis, a new opportunity will come.

Let me be a lightning rod for all of the inevitable criticism. I hope that my resignation will offer an opportunity to realize fundamental change for the better and to think about the role of the Ministry of Unification going forward.
In closing, I will cherish my time with you and always be with you wherever I may be.

Members of the MOU family,
I am truly thankful and honored to have worked with you.

Good bye and good luck.