A Call for Peace and Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula

koreapeace[The Korean United Methodist Church of Atlanta was the site of an ecumenical Korea peace conference from 15 to 17 May 2013. Theme of the event was “Embrace Peace, Pursue It: From Armistice to Just Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Keynote and plenary speakers included The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts-Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church USA, The Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee, former president, National Council of Churches USA and a former moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, The Rev. Dr. Jaejung Lee, professor at the Sungkonghoe University, Seoul, former South Korean Minister of Unification, and Dr. Christine Ahn, Executive Director of the Korea Policy Institute. Sponsoring organizations were the United Methodist Korean American National Association; Committee on Korean Reunification & Reconciliation; General Board of Global Ministries; United Methodist Women; United Methodist Korean Ministry Plan; and the National Council of Churches, South Korea. Workshop theme were: Building a Case for Peace Treaty: Steps for Advocacy; Women & Militarism; Humanitarian Mission & Building Solidarity in North Korea; The suffering of North Korean defectors and their survival in the South Korean society and church; and Nuclear Armament & Peace in the Korean Peninsula. Following here is the statement issued by conference participants. –CanKor]

Christ is our peace. As our Lord Jesus Christ broke down the walls of hostility that divide God’s people, we too are called to the ministry of reconciliation and peacemaking (Ephesians 2: 14-16).
For too long, the Korean people have been divided and suffered from political brinkmanship, the wall of ideology, and the scourge of militarism. The Armistice Agreement of 1953 only temporarily halted the war that claimed 4 million lives and divided 10 million families. This lingering state of war on the Korean peninsula is a major contributor to tension and instability, both regionally and globally, and contravenes the spirit of the United Nations Resolution 39/11 which recognizes a people’s right to peace.
We Christians of different communions, gathered together in the common cause of peace, are deeply concerned about the growing tensions on the Korean peninsula over recent nuclear testing in North Korea and U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises.
We join with the Korean people, both in North and South Korea in yearning for reconciliation, reunification and sustainable peace. Replacing the Armistice Agreement with a Peace Treaty is and should be the first step in establishing a lasting and sustainable peace on the Korean peninsula.
In support of the Korean people and in cooperation with ecumenical partners, we call on ourselves and all who desire to embrace and pursue peace to engage in the following actions to achieve a just peace on the Korean peninsula:
  1. Engage in prayers of penitence and petition with the Korean people, scarred and pained by the division of the nation; and support the efforts of the National Council of Church in Korea (ROK), and the Korean Christian Federation (DPRK) for reconciliation, peace and reunification.
  2. Urge both North and South Koreas to resume talks and economic cooperation, including immediate reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Kumkangsan Tourism.
  3. Urge the United States, South Korea, North Korea and all stakeholders involved to immediately resume dialogue and negotiations to establish a Peace Treaty eliminating the threat of nuclear and conventional war thereby establishing an enduring peace on the Korean peninsula and the world.
  4. Urge the United Nations Security Council to end economic and commercial sanctions, the U.S. and South Korea to cease all military exercises, and North Korea to stop hostile actions in the pursuit of peace.
  5. Continue to provide humanitarian support and economic development efforts for North Korea.
  6. Engage in ecumenical initiatives including the following:
a. Pray, support and participate in the National Council of Churches in Korea’s 2013 Peace Train, an affiliate event of the 2013 WCC Assembly being held in Busan, South Korea.
b. On July 27, 2013, launch a campaign to gather one million signatures for a Korea Peace Treaty petition.
c. Proclaim July 27, 2014 as “Korea Peace Sunday”.
d. Hold a Korea Peace March in Washington, DC in 2014.
e. Bring an Ecumenical Peace Delegation to North and South Korea in 2015.
f. Work to ensure the adoption of the Korea Peace Treaty statement and other efforts in pursuit of Korea Peace are supported and affirmed by each of our respective denominations and churches.

One Response to “A Call for Peace and Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula”

  1. Oberwiler Guido, Bankstrasse 1, CH-9244 Niederuzwil Says:

    Prayer can break Iron

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: