Dr. Antonio Betancourt meeting President Kim Il Sung in January 1994.
Kim Il Sung passed away 20 years ago on July 8. The BBC World Service broadcast an interview (click here to listen to the full interview) with Unificationist Dr. Antonio Betancourt on meeting President Kim five times (on the foundation of Reverend and Mrs. Moon’s visit with the North Korean leader in 1991), being in Pyongyang when he died, and, with Dr. Bo Hi Pak, attending Kim’s state funeral. Dr. Betancourt is currently Director, Office of Peace and Security Affairs, UPF International, in Washington, D.C., and Secretary General of the Summit Council for World Peace. A nine-minute podcast of the BBC interview may also be downloaded here.
In an analysis of the missed opportunities 20 years ago upon Kim’s passing, AU Blog Managing Editor Dr. Mark P. Barry posted an essay on NKNews.org, the leading site for researchers and journalists on North Korea, that provides an overview of what could have happened on the Korean Peninsula over the past two decades. Dr. Betancourt provided valuable assistance in the essay, and a great debt of gratitude is owed to Dr. Bo Hi Pak for his unique insights in Chapter 21 of Messiah: My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Vol. II. London’s The Guardian newspaper picked up Dr. Barry’s article days later, providing a vastly wider online readership, and he was also interviewed at length by South Korea’s OhMyNews (Korean only).
— The Editor
The World Peace Center in Pyongyang (photo taken in December 2011 upon the 20th anniversary of Reverend and Mrs. Moon’s visit). The Peace Center was later used to receive condolence visitors upon the passing of Reverend Moon.