‘U.N. International Day of Peace’ Initiator Young Seek Choue’s biography publication ceremony held in Seoul


By Seok-Jae Kang,
Vice President, Asia Journalists Association 

SEOUL: A biography publication ceremony for the late Dr. Young Seek Choue, who advocated the U.N. International Day of Peace and founded the Kyung Hee University System, was held successfully in Seoul, Korea on March 16, 2023.

The publication ceremony, which was held at the Booyoung Convention Hall on the first floor of the Booyoung Taepyeong Building in Jung-gu, Seoul, was promoted by the Oughtopian Peace Foundation, headed by Dr. Chungwon Choue, the eldest son of the late Choue Young Seek, whose pen name was Miwon.


The event was organized to reflect on Miwon’s life and achievements and shed new light on his thoughts and vision on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Dr. Young Seek Choue, who was born on November 22, 1921 and passed away on February 18, 2012, was an educator, philanthropist and initiator of world peace.

The publication ceremony drew about 400 people from all walks of life, including the academia, business and taekwondo circles as well as the GCS community. Among VIPs were former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former Prime Minister Lee Soo-sung, Chairperson Lee Bae-yong of the National Education Commission, Mr. Lee Dai-soon, former World Taekwondo (WT) vice president, Mr. Seung Myung-ho, chairman of the Hankook Ilbo; Mr. Hong Seok-hyun, chairman of the JoongAng Ilbo; Mr. Koo Bon-hong, chairman of the Asia Journalist Association; Mr. Oh Young-jin, president of the Korea Times; Mr. Lee Joong-keun, founder of the Booyoung Group; Mr. Lee Hee-beom, chairman of the Booyoung Group; Mr. Koo Ja-yeol, better known as Christopher Koo, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association; Dr. Kim Chong-ryang, chairman of Hanyang University, Dr. Yoo Byong-jin, president of Myongji University; Dr. Kim Byung-mook, president of Shinsung University, and Dr. Park Heung-soon, vice president of the U.N. Association of the ROK.


In attendance at the event from the taekwondo community were Mr. Park Yang-woo, vice president of World Taekwondo; Prof. Lee Kyu-seok, vice president of WT and president of WT Asia; Mr. Seo Jung-kang, secretary general of WT; Mr. Lee Dong-sup, president of the Kukkiwon; Mr. Oh Eung-hwan, chairman of the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation; Mr. Yang Jin-bank, president of the Korea Taekwondo Association and WT Council member; Mr. Jung Kook-hyun, a WT Council member; Mr. Pimol Srivikorn, president of the Taekwondo Association of Thailand and WT Council member; and Mr. Kang Dae-geun, president of THF Asia.


Also on hand were Dr. Shim Ho-myung, honorary president of the GCS Korea Chapter; Dr. Huh Jong, president of the GCS Korea Chapter; Mrs. Jung Un-sook, vice president of the GCS Korea Chapter; Mr. Lee Won-jong, secretary general of both the Oughtopian Peace Foundation and the GCS Korea Chapter; Dr. Lee Kwong-kyun, a GCS International board member; Mr. Lee Hyeong-taek, a GCS International board member; Dr. Seok-jae Kang, secretary general of GCS International.


Mr. We Ho-in, chairman of the International Center for Korean Culture (ICKC), Mr. Park Eui-kun, head of the ICKC’s financial affairs, and Mr. Hu Kwang, president of the World Hanggung Association, also took their precious time to attend the publication event.

Korean actor Jung Joon-ho, a Kyung Hee University graduate, served as the emcee of the publication ceremony, which featured a five-minute video showing the whole life of Dr. Young Seek Choue and a dedication of the biography to honor the late Choue by Dr. Chungwon Choue and Mr. Hong Duck-hwa, a reporter of the Yonhap News Agency, who wrote the biography. Dr. Chungwon Choue also serves as president of both WT and GCS International.


A welcoming speech by Dr. Choue were followed by congratulatory remarks by former U.N. Secretary General Ban, former Prime Minister Lee and National Education Commission chairperson Lee.

Biography writer Hong made a speech on the biography followed by commemorative performances featuring harmonica player Lee Ye-young’s ‘Magnolia’ and mezzo-soprano Paik Nam-ok’s ‘Song of Peace,’ both songs were written by Dr. Young Seek Choue and composed by Kim Dong-jin. A WT demonstration team made a five-minute performance under the title “Peace and Harmony,” which drew applause from the attendees.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Chungwon Choue said “I miss my father so much as I saw him in my dream last night. He really lived a life of contemplation and priesthood. I am really happy to be able to produce his biography, albeit belatedly.”


Former U.N. Secretary General Ban said in his congratulatory remarks that “Dr. Young Seek Choue was a sage who looked ahead a century and was a true hero of history. Decades after Dr. Choue spoke of a ‘healthy earth,’ the U.N. General Assembly started to officially deal with such a serious global issue of climate change in 2007. Dr. Choue’s cry for a healthy earth is still approaching realistically.” “Dr. Choue was a true visionary and philosopher. In the early 1980s when the arms race was at its height due to the U.S.-Soviet Union confrontation, it was really awkward to utter the word of peace. At that time Dr. Choue initiated to draw international support for the 36th U.N. General Assembly to unanimously approve the U.N. International Day of Peace in 1981. Since then, I celebrate the day every year.”

Former Premier Lee Soo-sung said in his congratulatory speech that “I am really pleased to be able to attend my beloved teacher’s biography publication ceremony. I learned myself from him 73 years ago.” “When I met Japanese Daisaku Ikeda, president Soka Gakkai International, in 1998, he told me that Dr. Young Seek Choue is a man of sincerity who pursues true peace. It never works with hypocrisy. Dr. Choue has sincerity and so I respect him. I also felt the sincerity of Dr. Chungwon Choue when he said in his welcoming speech shortly before that he saw Dr. Young Seek Choue in his dream last night.”


National Education Commission Chairperson Lee said in her remarks that “I think this publication ceremony today is very touching and great with Dr. Chungwon Choue’s filial piety and sincerity. Dr. Young Seek Choue set the guideline for a holistic education of Korea.”

Dr. Young Seek Choue took over a college in Busan during the Korean War with the determination to make the country rich and strong through education. In 1968, he successfully hosted the Triennial Conference of the 2nd International Association University Presidents (IAUP) at Kyung Hee University with the attendance of then Korean President Park Chung Hee.


At the 4th IAUP Conference in Boston, the United States in 1975, Dr. Choue proposed ‘the Boston Declaration’ to promote the GCS Movement worldwide. The ultimate goal of the GCS Movement was to overcome the adverse effects of contemporary materialistic civilization such as disrespect for human dignity and alienation of human beings, and to improve modern human society into a better and more desirable one by harmonizing the spiritual culture and the materialistic civilization.


In July 1981 in San Jose, Costa Rica at the 6th IAUP Conference, Dr. Young Seek Choue proposed that the United Nations dedicate one day in a year to ceasefire, non-violence and international peace. The IAUP accepted his idea in the ‘Costa Rica Resolution’ and It was placed and adopted at the U.N. General Assembly on November 30, 1981 to unanimously approve the U.N. International Day of Peace.

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