Moon’s third ‘wife’ – Myung-hee Kim (in South Korea)
Updated May 19, 2023
▲ Myung-hee Kim (right) with Kyeong-shik Kim. They are trimming photographs in the church center, preparing them for sale. In the mid 1950s Hyo-min Eu had set up a successful photo-selling business to generate funds for the UC.
Myung-hee Kim died around the end of March 2020. Her funeral was held at Asan Hospital in Seoul on April 3rd. She was buried in Chuncheon the same day.
The fact that Moon had two ‘wives’ called ‘Kim’ can be confusing.
A number of scholars, researchers and journalists have written that Sun Myung Moon had two separate ‘wives’ with the surname of Kim. They were born about a decade apart.
The first Kim wife of Moon was in North Korea. Her name was Chong-hwa Kim – Moon met her in the summer of 1946; she was married with three children. She lived in the Kyongchang-ri neighborhood of Pyongyang. Moon moved into the family home for a year and a half. (Her husband then slept in the children’s room.)
Moon’s relationship with Chong-hwa Kim ended dramatically at 10:00 am on February 22, 1948 when the police arrested them both together. They were tried for bigamy/adultery – and both jailed for the crime. Until a few years ago in Korea adultery was, by law, a jailable offense if a spouse made a complaint. Moon was never a political prisoner in the Heungnam prison. Some political prisoners were executed there, but Moon was never under threat of execution. (Moon’s dramatic story of nearly being executed at Heungnam was fiction.)
The second Kim wife of Moon was Myung-hee Kim. She was born on December 12, 1930 in North Pyongan province, north of Pyongyang, in what is now North Korea.
Place of birth: 平安北道朔州郡朔州邑出身 . Her father was 金正玉 Kim Jeong-ok, and her mother was 洪亨蘭 Hong Hyung-ran. Myung-hee was the eldest daughter of four boys and three girls.
Moon initially met her in September 1953 in Seoul. She was a 22 year-old Yonsei university student, and a virgin. He began cohabiting with her in 1954 and before the end of the year she was pregnant. Hee-jin Moon was born in Tokyo on August 17, 1955.
From All God’s Children, a book by Jo Anne Parke and Carol Stoner (1977) page 55:
“The Reverend Moon has reportedly been married to three women. Church spokesmen acknowledge two of the unions, saying that Moon was ultimately destined to find the right mate to be the “perfect mother” for mankind. … Reports of Moon’s second marriage come from a group of Korean religious scholars including Dr. Sa-hun Shin, a professor at Seoul National University; Dr. Y. H. Jyoo, a teacher at Konkuk University, and Dr. M.H. Tank [Myeong-hwan Tahk], a lecturer at several Korean Christian seminaries. The scholars conducted careful research and say Moon also married a Ms. Myung-hee Kim, who bore him a second son.”
The Chūwa Shinbun, a newspaper published by the Unification Church in Japan, printed this answer for the FFWPU / UC members on September 12, 1992. (The Japanese text is at the end of this page.)
“Teacher Moon resumed his missionary work in Busan, and was reunited with [his first wife] Ms. Seon-gil Choi. However, she could not understand why Teacher Moon loved his disciples more than he loved his own wife. She voluntarily gave up the position of ‘True Mother’ and divorced him. For Teacher Moon this divorce was the worst possible outcome. However, for Teacher Moon there must be a ‘True Mother’ together with the messiah. He knew this very strongly. In 1954 he married Myung-hee Kim…”
Perhaps the UC gave 1954 as a marriage date to give the impression that the couple were married before their child was conceived.
The Sunday Journal USA of April 25, 2013 gives a marriage date for Sun Myung Moon and Myung-hee Kim of June 30, 1955 (just 6 weeks before the baby was born). LINK
Note: Sun Myung Moon and Choi Seon-gil divorced on January 8, 1957. Therefore Moon’s marriage to Kim Myung-hee was bigamous.
When Allen Tate Wood visited Korea in 1970, He was told that Myung-hee Kim had been a “wife” of Sun Myung Moon.
Moonstruck: A memoir of my life in a cult, 1979 (pages 120-121)
“Moon had had two previous wives, but they had turned against him. One, [Myung-hee Kim] however, had come back to the fold, we were told, but no longer as his wife. She was now merely a faithful follower. In 1969 Moon’s thirteen-year-old son [Hee-Jin] by one of these women [Myung-hee Kim] was killed, decapitated when he put his head out of a speeding train. This boy died because the Korean church was not faithful enough. Mrs. Choi and the other mediums saw a red tide pouring into Korea. It was a sign that the communists were again about to try to take over all of Korea. Moon called for everyone to work. He called three times, but they did not help him. After the third call, he picked up a stone and put it in the gap in the wall—the demilitarized zone—through which the red tide was pouring. That stone was the life of his son, sacrificed for the sake of South Korea.”
All the words that are quoted below are taken from notes from two testimonies that she gave in the same week in the mid 1980s.
“My mother was Christian, my father was Confucian. I went to kindergarden at a church. At four years old I wanted to believe in God. … I said to my father “I miss you—you’ll go to hell, I can’t go to heaven.” When I was five he joined [a Christian] church. He grew very quickly and became responsible. He went to a Pyongyang seminary. We moved to Pyongyang. He became a church leader. He died in June 1945. (Went to the same school as Rev Moon.) He suffered much from the Japanese police. The Japanese put military things in the church. He was shocked. He was only 37, he looked 30. My father was my idol.”
Myung-hee Kim was a promising student at Yonsei University in Seoul in 1953.
Moon was staying in a yogwan (small hotel) in Seoul at the time they met. He had arrived in Seoul just a few days before.
He was introduced to Myung-hee Kim for the first time in a tea room in Seoul. They met for 20 minutes on September 21, 1953 in the evening. Myung-hee was taken there by her aunt’s sister, Mrs Yoon-yeong Yang, who was a music professor. At that meeting Moon said some things that started Myung-hee thinking…
The next time she met Moon was in Busan on December 24, 1953 at Shin-hee Eu’s house. Myung-hee had been given a substantial scholarship for her university studies at Yonsei. She had given it to an aunt for safe keeping, but the aunt had given it all to Moon. Myung-hee went to retrieve her money, and because she was curious about the man who had been given her money.
(Won-pil Kim confirms that he and Moon traveled down from Seoul to Busan on December 24.) About 28 people were in the small house. Moon spoke until 1 or 2 in the morning. Chung-hwa Pak was also there, and wrote about what happened.
Myung-hee: “For three months I had horrible indemnity. [September to December 1953?] I lost all my money, had a lung problem and I lost all my friends—so I stopped studying. I went home to Jeju Island. There were many Christian refugees there. (I had been planning to go to the USA to study.) My mother could not understand how I had lost all my money. My brother was depressed too. I wanted to die. My house was by the sea. I tried to commit suicide. I made a last prayer on a rock by the edge of the water. A voice suddenly came to me: ‘Even though you are 20 years old…’ ‘Please take my soul.’ I said.
“Weeks later I dreamed I was flying in air over water and dressed in white. I thought there’d be a storm. I went to Busan, but I had no money. I went to my uncle’s house. My aunt was a Unification Church member. [This is Shin-hee Eu.] I did not trust her, but her sister was a professor at Ewha University and I trusted her. I had been to meet Rev Moon with her. [Professor Yang taught music at both Ewha and Yonsei Universities in Seoul.]
“My uncle [Sung-mook Shin] was in the hospital, but I was angry at his wife for not being with her husband. She had been to Rev. Moon’s until midnight. She was calm and smiled. I prayed all night. ‘Why has she got lots of grace and has many revelations? I thought you loved me, I thought I was a best daughter of Heavenly Father.’ I prayed until 6 in the morning. I wanted to rest. I saw a big fire. ‘This is Moses’ fire, this is Moses’ stick? Why don’t you go to Moon? If they are wrong you should lead them. If they are right, why don’t you follow?’ I felt this was very simple. I felt glad.”
Myung-hee: “On January 5, I was in a hurry to visit the church. She [Shin-hee Eu?] was afraid that I might make trouble. We arrived at 11 o’clock after she led me around. Father was praying and everyone was crying. After I entered the room—I wore many clothes since I had heard many rumors—I sat by the door. I stared at him. Is he the Anti-Christ or not?
“After Rev. Moon finished his lectures, he asked Miss Choi, who was a very cute schoolgirl, ‘What special revelation did you have?’ She received a very sweet one: pink flowers, blue sky, etc. It was very natural. I envied her very much. No other young people except her and me. The others were not so well educated.
“Rev. Moon remembered my name. I was surprised. He asked me what I thought. I started talking. The others interrupted. He was angry, ‘You should listen to that young girl.’ I spoke for three hours. Rev. Moon was very interested to listen to me. Several times Rev. Moon asked me to stay to tell me things about my mission, but I couldn’t trust him. The members asked me to stay. Rev. Moon recognized my worry. He said ‘I’ll go to the other end of the room and speak to you from there.’
“He explained his mission for three hours because I was the daughter of a Christian leader.
“I found it difficult to accept the messiah as a man, because my concept of the messiah was of someone far from me.
“Sometimes I could trust him, sometimes not.
I went back to my room. I prayed and saw a vision of six Chinese letters: ‘A man who was incarnated has been in a circle of purified people.’
A Chinese doctor interpreted the two unknown characters.
I was surprised. I saw a lot of color.
After that I felt my responsibility as a Christian and recognized that Jesus should not have died, and that Rev. Moon had suffered so much in North Korea from the Christians there.
“They made many prophecies about the Lord of the Second Coming in 1945 at the end of the war. I had heard about the Holy Lord Church of Mr. Chang’s grandmother.
“The first Christian missionaries told people to stop smoking and drinking, to make the people work harder.
“Christianity is very close to shamanism in Korea.
“January 7, 1954 was my spiritual birthday. After that I had many revelations. I cooked and washed. I could not complain. I knew the course of going to Canaan. I had to be patient.
“On May 1, 1954 the Unification Church was founded. After this there was much indemnity.
“There was much accusation. Old members had problems—they were tempted. In my case too, I swore many times to devote myself, so I could not leave the church. I think their indemnity made a strong foundation for the church.
“In September many good quality members came. Heavenly Father picked them. The churches were very surprised and they wondered.”
Myung-hee Kim said: “Ewha and Yonsei Universities had several meetings about the UC. They decided to kick us out. It was 1955. The mission schools did not allow us to stay. The more they persecuted us, the more people became interested. Many professors visited and thought Rev Moon was very important.”
“My aunt’s cousin was President Hyo-won Eu. My aunt told me he was a genius. In Busan I visited Pres. Eu’s brother’s factory. Pres. Eu was copying Father’s notes on the Principle. I also copied them.
“I had met Rev Moon in Seoul previously. I’d heard rumors about him, but I was impressed by an intelligent man like President Eu enthusing about him. That was in the fall. The next year, in January 1954, on the 7th, I joined the UC.
“Pres. Eu had a bright white face. When I met him with Father, Pres. Eu was like a young boy, very happy. …
“I attended a 21-day workshop. I wanted to know if Rev Moon was the coming messiah. Pres. Eu’s brother [Hyo-young Eu] also came. He didn’t get any revelations, but I got many revelations to help him. He joined earlier than me.
“Father, Mrs Kang and I went to Taegu from Busan. Father told me to continue at university. In early March, Father told Pres. Eu to come to Seoul to help to organize the church.
“Father taught us at night. He encouraged Mr. Eu to give lectures. There was a 10 o’clock curfew. There were communists around. Father’s talks went on until after 10 o’clock.
“We had to move twice because the landlords didn’t want us. … Mrs Yang, my aunt’s sister who was a professor at Yonsei University, joined. She had a house. I lived with her. It was near our church. Father used to lecture in her living room. Most guests were students or professors. …
“He was a very trustworthy and able disciple—intellectually and otherwise. He was very interested in the spirit world. He knew Father’s situation, his ancestors and family situation.
“I was 22 at that time. He always listened carefully to me when I explained about my family and ancestors.”
Moon was married to Seon-gil Choi until their divorce on January 8, 1957. His adulterous relationship with Myung-hee Kim was against the Korean law of the time. If his wife had made an official complaint, Moon could have been jailed.
By April 1955, when she visited Daegu, Myung-hee Kim was pregnant. She had been cohabiting with Moon. (ref. Dan Fefferman below.)
To escape the possibility of jail, Moon sent Myung-hee Kim to Japan, even though she had no documentation. Visas to Japan were unobtainable in the 1950s due to a lack of diplomatic relations between Japan and Korea.
In July, shortly before she was due to give birth, she traveled from Busan to Japan. She was accompanied by Seung-taek Oh, a member and fellow student from Yonsei University. They smuggled themselves across the sea on a fishing boat. It has been said that she went to stay with a Korean Buddhist group who had a branch in Tokyo. She already knew the group in Korea.
In a speech dated August 28, 1971, Sun Myung Moon refers to Hee-jin being born in Japan and living in a Buddhist temple there.
Hee-jin Moon was born on August 17, 1955.
She stayed in hiding in Japan for four years until October 2, 1959* Dan Fefferman refers to her four years in Japan. People who knew Hee-jin said he could speak excellent Japanese.
▲ The above two photos appear to have been taken in 1960 or soon after. Were the photos taken at the time she had to hand Hee-jin over to Moon and Hak-ja Han? In those days in Korea fathers had custody rights over any children. (The photos were probably taken by Hyo-min Eu. The one of Myung-hee Kim with her son was in a book he published. Myung-hee Kim and Hee-jin are named in the photo caption.)
In case anyone thinks that the hiding of information is a thing of the past, it should be noted that Myung-hee Kim’s name has been completely omitted from a substantial article in the Today’s World of December 2011 (pages 6-9). This covers the Hee-jin story. Page 7 has the photo Hee-jin standing beside his father. Moon blames the members for the August 1, 1969 death of Hee-jin with these words: “Accordingly, when you failed to fulfill your responsibilities, Hee-jin became responsible for that failure.”
Moon asserts Hee-jin died because of the members’ failures. Moon takes no responsibility for his own financial and emotional neglect of his own child.
Chung-hwa Pak: “During the summer vacation of junior high school, he went out with an older student saying that he was going out for the summer witnessing. He held onto the handrails of the moving train and leaned back, enjoying the wind because it was a hot day. As the train approached a station [still traveling at some speed] his head hit [a track-side post] near the station and he died from concussion.
[In a testimony she gave in Korea, his mother said: He was “leaning out of the train”. He was “eager to get off when it arrived at the station” and his head “hit a track-side post”.]
[Another source has given the location as Maepo Station 매포역 in Chungcheongbuk Province 충청북도. The name of the station has since changed, but it did exist.]
Regarding this matter, Sun Myung Moon somehow glorified it, saying that Moon Hee-jin went to the spirit world to mobilize the boys!” (Chapter 6)
Allen Tate Wood was told: he was “decapitated when he put his head out of a speeding train.”
In the text below Dan Fefferman states “while in Japan, she was either raped or seduced by a Japanese man.” It is a fact that the Japanese members are told that Myung-hee Kim was ‘raped’ by a Japanese man—sometimes ‘a soldier,’ sometimes ‘an official’. According to other reports, she had a relationship with the leader of the spiritual group where she was staying in Japan during her four long lonely years (1955-59). The leader apparently said, “It is obvious that Moon does not care about you.” The man was Korean, and not Japanese. Perhaps the frequently mentioned narrative about ‘rape’ and a ‘Japanese man’ was just another ploy to make the Japanese members feel guilty and hand over more money to Moon. Myung-hee Kim’s relationship with the man was consensual, according to her own testimony.
Dan Fefferman gave this answer about Myung-hee Kim, when he was asked in December 1998:
Question: “Why did Father take a concubine, Miss Kim, who gave birth to their son Hee-jin, while he was married to his first wife Song-gil Choi [Seon-gil Choi]? Why was this never acknowledged?”
Dan Fefferman: “Hee-jin Nim was acknowledged by Father as his son during his lifetime and honored publicly after his death. Some of Father’s early speeches and prayers make reference to Hee-jin’s death in similar terms to Heung-jin’s. (both were “second” sons, both died tragically in accidents as teenagers.) When I was in Korea in 1970 Father, Mrs. Won-bok Choi and President Young-whi Kim explained the conception of Hee-jin in these terms: Father’s first wife (the other Mrs. Choi [Seon-gil Choi] ) was in the process of divorcing him. The process is a long drawn out affair in Korean law. During this time in the mid 50s, Father began cohabiting with Ms. Young-hee Kim [Myung-hee Kim]. Because her pregnancy would have negative affects on Father both in terms of the divorce and in terms of criminal law, she moved to Japan to avoid getting Father in trouble. The baby was born there. However, while in Japan, she was either raped or seduced by a Japanese man. Father told us that if she had returned to him after that, he would have accepted her. However, she was so ashamed, that she hid from Father and stayed in Japan, returning only years later (perhaps after Father’s marriage to mother.) [She returned on October 2, 1959.] She offered Hee-jin to Father, and Father accepted him as his son. So the answer is that:
1) Father and his first wife were no longer married from God’s viewpoint as Father understands it and
2) The relationship with Young-hee Kim was acknowledged, but not at first, because of legal implications.”
Moon confirmed that he was the father of Hee-jin:
“True Parents’ family, which represents the whole historical realm of victory, attained this position because it went through a history of purification to the root. If Hye-jin was sacrificed for the sake of cutting off the bloodline of the fallen woman in the Garden of Eden, then Hee-jin represents the Old Testament Age. They have different mothers. So, Hee-jin pertains to the Old Testament Age and Heung-jin represents the New Testament Age.”
Cheon Seong Gyeong (304-304, 1999.11.12) page 972.
Hye-jin / Hae-jin was born on July 27, 1964. She had a gut birth defect and died after one week, on August 4, 1964. Her mother was Hak Ja Han.
A Jeep for Sun Myung Moon and nothing for Myung-hee Kim
On July 7, 1957 (7-7-7) Moon bought himself an expensive Jeep. Registration number: 747. In Korea at the time there were only about 5000 privately owned cars in the whole country. Moon’s arrival in this Jeep in impoverished Korea made a big impression.
At the time Sun Myung Moon bought himself the Jeep, Myung-hee Kim was in hiding in Japan. Hee-jin was born in August 1955, so he was nearly two. Moon wrote a few letters to Myung-hee Kim, but he never sent her any money. She had a very difficult time because she had no passport or visa, as well as no money.
Because she was there illegally, she could not get medical help for the birth of Hee-jin. He was born on the floor of her lodgings. It is said Oh Seung-taek, the young man who had accompanied her from Korea, cut the umbilical cord with his teeth. Soon they had spent the little money they had.
Chung-hwa Pak: “Seung-taek Oh smuggled himself back to Korea to ask for money from Mr. Moon. When Oh met Mr. Moon, he definitely refused to help. I have never heard such a cruel story. How could he do that to his baby son? If he was the messiah, this act of his was despicable. He should have taken responsibility for them.
Seung-taek Oh was very angry at Mr. Moon, and parted from Mr. Moon forever. Mr. Moon had said to Oh, “I don’t have any money and you have to take care of yourselves.”
I was with Mr. Moon at that time. When Mr. Moon rejected Oh’s request, Oh said to Mr. Moon “You are Satan. You remember that.” Then he left the place, slamming the door. As a member of the church, Seung-taek Oh took responsibility for taking care of Myung-hee Kim because it was for the sake of the church. There were about seven or eight people who witnessed this, but no one said anything about it. I feel guilty about that.
Myung-hee Kim was waiting for Seung-taek Oh with her baby, Hee-jin, expecting that he would bring money.”
Perhaps the reason she did stay in Japan for so long was because she knew the Korean tradition was that the father always had the right to the custody of any child – and Hee-jin would probably be taken away from her, especially being a son.
Chung-hwa Pak said that Myung-hee Kim was eventually detained by the Japanese authorities because she had no money or documentation. She spent three months with Hee-jin in the Omura Detention Center, which was near Nagasaki. It had been opened in 1950 as a place to detain illegal immigrants. Myung-hee Kim was found there by a church member, Mr Hwang, and brought back to Korea in 1959, arriving with Hee-jin on October 2nd.
After their return, Moon had to register the child as his own.
写真左から ムハンマド （マホ メ ッ ト) 夫人 李貞玉 （ィ・ジョンォッ)、 ソクラテス夫人 金明煕 （キム・ミョンヒ)、 イエス夫人 張貞順 （チャン・ジョンスン)、 孔子夫人 李京埈 （ィ・ギョンジュン)、 アウグスティヌス夫人 姜賢實 （カン・ヒョンシル) 円内は釈迦夫人 催元福 （チュ・ゥォンボァ) 敬称略
Heavenly True Parents and the Sage’s Wives
Photo (the six women, from left to right, who are standing behind Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han)
1: Jeong-ok Lee 李貞玉. Moon married her to Mohammed.
2: Myung-hee Kim 金明煕. (married to Socrates)
3: Jeong-soon Chang 張貞順. (married to Jesus)
4: Kyŏng-Jun Lee 李京埈. (married to Confucius)
5: Hyun-shil Kang 姜賢實. (married to Augustine)
6: Won-bok Choi 催元福 in the oval. (married to Buddha)
Sun Myung Moon married these six women to religious leaders in the spirit world. With Myung-hee Kim he had fathered a child. For many years Won-bok Choi was known as ‘Second Mother’. Her bedroom was next to that of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han in Korea – she explained in a testimony that she could hear their pillow talk through the thin walls. At the Moons’ East Garden mansion in the USA the members who visited her bedroom confirmed it was next to the Moons’ bedroom.
According to Moon’s son, Hyung Jin Sean, he had pikareum sex rituals and yongch’e ceremonies with all of these women. It was in Sun Myung Moon’s secret theology – which was taught to, and understood by, the early Korean members and the top Japanese leaders. Early Korean ‘blessed’ couples were proud to be part of Sun Myung Moon’s ‘Royal family’. The 36 and 72 couple wives had restorational sex with Moon, and that is why they were known as the Royal couples, and their blessings were known as the ‘Holy Blessings’.
See Pikareum emerged during the “Ewha Womans University Incident” in the early days of Rev. Sun Myung Moon for further information.
In 2013 the Tongil.org website had a Moon family tree with a box for Hee-jin Moon on it, but no mention of his mother, Myung-hee Kim. There is a box labelled ‘Moon’ in the position where Myung-hee Kim should be. The layout implies that “Sung Kil Moon” (Seon-gil Choi) could be the mother of Hee-jin, and that she had two children. She did not. There should be a box with the name of Myung-hee Kim with a double line going directly to Moon to indicate their marriage, and a line from between them to Hee-jin. The family tree is confusing, and is evidently deliberately so:
In 2016 a question mark was added to the ‘Moon’ box, as if Hee-jin’s mother is not known. There are boxes for two women! The official FFWPU / Unification Church, which claims to be the purveyor of God’s truth, continues to attempt to obscure more historical facts.
The Unification Church has consistently tried to hide information about Moon’s relationships with many different women. The UC has sought to create an image of Moon as a “champion of true love” who preached and crusaded for monogamy and “true family values”.
Moon’s behavior reveals something else.
According to a 2011 report, Myung-hee Kim had been staying in a private room at the Cheongshim Hospital at Cheongpyeong since 2006. She was still alive in 2011, but was suffering from dementia and had lost her ability to speak English.
The Chūwa Shinbun, a newspaper published by the UC in Japan, dated September 12, 1992:
中和新聞 平成4年 1992 9月12日 金明姫 (Kim Myung-hee)
* One source of information was the UC of Japan monthly journal “Family” June 2005