- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2019

NAGOYA, Japan — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told an audience in Japan Saturday that the U.S., South Korea and Japan need to improve trilateral relations in the face of growing challenges from North Korea, China and Russia.

“We can only be effective if we work with our allies,” Mr. Gingrich said at the Japan Summit and Leadership Conference in Nagoya, Japan. “It is vital to all three of us to find a way to reach past some of the grievances, and scrambling some of the politicians’ maneuvers, and find ways to come together and recognize how much more we have in common than separate.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week he wants to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un despite Pyongyang’s renewed testing of missiles.

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North Korea resumed missile tests ahead of the scheduled resumption of nuclear negotiations with the United States.

Mr. Abe also insisted that Seoul must withdraw demands for Japanese wartime compensation beyond what was already paid under the peace treaty.

The leadership conference in Nagoya, Japan, was organized by the Universal Peace Federation. It was also headlined with a speech from Hak Ja Han Moon, widow of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the leader of the Unification movement that grew from the Unification Church the Rev. Moon founded in 1954 — a year after war between North Korea and South Korea was frozen by a U.S.-backed armistice.

Mrs. Moon called on Japan’s leaders, some of whom were in the audience, to ask for forgiveness for “past mistakes.”

“You ancestors did not understand Heaven’s ways and committed some regrettable actions,” she said. “And politicians today can ask for forgiveness… That is the path of righteousness and virtue. If Japan can ask pardon for past mistakes and extend a hand, saying ‘let us work together for the sake of peace,’ I believe peace is indeed possible.”

Mrs. Moon spoke of the need for world leaders to find “righteousness and virtue” instead of “self-centeredness.” Some in the audience took her remarks as criticism of President Trump.

“Politicians today are not known as the humblest people,” she said. “Anyone who boasts of himself above others, that creates division and discord. Anyone who boats of himself above all others of himself cannot unite with others.”

She also spoke of climate change, saying the “Earth is suffering.”

“I thought typhoons only happened in the summer — in Korea, many have happened in the fall as well,” she said. “Even in America, many floods and many torrential rains and snowfalls are causing great havoc.

Nature is calling out to us, exhorting us to become true stewards of creation. Any leader who does not take the issue seriously will be accused by future generations.”

Mrs. Moon has led the Unification movement since a few years before the 2012 death of the Rev. Moon, whose ministry grew from a tiny, embattled church in his native South Korea to a global spiritual movement and an affiliated commercial empire comprising real estate, manufacturing and agricultural operations, and media properties including The Washington Times.

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