Ten years after the beginning of the YKU, Yoon proposed a drastic change of direction for the organization. In 1992, the YKU held a contest to promote activism among Korean immigrants. One hundred and fifty members participated in the contest. During the contest, Yoon reported the change of direction.
Gone are the days of revolution. North Korea joining the UN is an admission that maintaining the status quo has become more urgent than the goal of unifying Korea. Unification is now a long-term task, and accordingly, we must turn our focus to the promotion of peaceful disarmament instead.
The wall in Berlin had fallen, and the Cold War era was over. The socialist countries of Europe had collapsed. The days of revolution were gone. Up to this point, the YKU had focused on unification; now Yoon urged them to redirect their energy to advocating for the rights of Koreans in the U.S.
We’re fighting in the long run now. We need to incorporate activism into our everyday life. All members should think of long term goals and work on them daily.
The businessman should aim for success. The tradesman should aim to specialize. He who gave up his studies to join the movement should return to school. He who left his family for the sake of the movement should return to his family. Meanwhile, Yoon added, keep alive your passion for justice and truth.
Yoon argued that returning to their daily lives, rebuilding connections, and advocating for the rights of Korean immigrants was the way to make their movement sustainable. YKU members returned to school, resumed their studies, and dedicated time to looking after themselves and their health.
Gang Wan-mo was a key figure of the YKU. He returned to University and eventually became an international lawyer. He said:
This change in direction opened up new opportunities for many members. There were, of course, some who were angry. They thought the new way was a betrayal. They thought Yoon was abandoning the movement. But as I saw it, the new way wasn’t the end of a movement – it was the beginning of a new one.