Ven. Pomnyun's Answer to "Why Do You Focus on Resolving Reunification Issue?”

Selection from a Dharma Q&A session at Jogyesa Temple, Seoul (June 14, 2019)

Questioner : 

You began your talk very well with talking about the difference between an atheist and a believer. At least in that case, they agree on the topic of whether or not there is a God. That’s great. 

Now talking about reunification, I think the situations are similar but different.

For example, among the various reunification efforts and movements including within the Jungtohoi (Jungto Society), there is a focus on what they are doing more than what the other part, maybe recipients, understand what they are doing. 

There are so much confusion of people talking past each other. Simple example, somewhat relevant, is in the recent peace talks. There is not even agreement on what the summits are about like in Hanoi and Singapore, just the fact that they agreed to meet and talk past each other. 

So my concern and I don’t know if it’s a question, is when people get involved with these reunification movements and spent a good amount of time, effort and money, I’m not sure if they are really doing it more for reunification than for themselves as feeling good that they are doing something for a noble cause that is not well defined.

Because, ok, reunification. But what is reunification? There’s so many different opinions of what that would actually be.

So I wonder maybe the Jungtohoi (Jungto Society) should be focusing its resources on other things such as elimination of the death penalty in South Korea or giving opportunities for conscientious objectors to find acceptable roles in society rather than compulsory military service.

So I’m not criticizing the Jungtohoi (Jungto Society), but I’m just raising my concerns about allocations of resources and time.

I understand the corn donation is very noble and hopefully the corn will be given to the people who are actually hungry and not simply the people who do not actually need that food.  

But it could be a situation where people feel good about raising money for the corn for North Korea when in fact it may not be so purposeful. But it makes them feel good.

So I don’t know if I have a real question but only a simple concern that may not even be appropriate for this format. But here I am. 

Well I think we are all in agreement on these facts, and I’m in total agreement with you on this, but I think there’s maybe a problem of communication.

Because what you are talking about is more along the lines of peace or humanitarian efforts than a reunification.

So maybe it’s a problem within the Jungtohoi (Jungto Society) rather than yourself, but if you are talking about reunification rather than humanitarian relief, it’s very confusing for people who do not know in detail what you are trying to achieve.

So the quick result will be the South to accept North Korea leadership. Because you know how to be more flexible and more compromising.

So maybe we should simply accept the Pyongyang government to be the ruling government for the entire peninsula and we’ll be reunified. 

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Direct download: foreigner20190614JogyesaTemplequestioner7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm JST