PROK Statement on the Current Situation

[The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) on 13 March 2013 issued the following “Statement on the Current Situation in the Korean Peninsula in view of the Joint US-ROK Military Exercises and Threats of War between North and South Korea.” The original text can be accessed here. –CanKor]

Stop the threats of war, without any conditions, begin dialogue and negotiations!

“God will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4).

Logo PROKWe, in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea confess our faith in the God of peace and have been working and praying for reconciliation and reunification of the North and South Korea and peace in the entire Korean Peninsula. We offered our earnest prayers especially in this Lenten Pilgrimage carrying with us the concerns of the suffering of the people, justice, peace and abundant life in the Korean Peninsula. Yet, in spite of our earnest prayers, the North and the South are heading toward precarious armed confrontation.

In view of the recent Joint United States-Republic of Korea Military Exercises which began on March 11 dubbed, ‘Key Resolve’, the North pushed to invalidate the Armistice Agreement signed in Panmunjeom in 1953, shut down telephone communication lines with the South. The confrontational exchange of words and propaganda between the North and South is just short of outbreak of armed conflict that may happen anytime in the Korean Peninsula, creating a very volatile situation. In this kind of situation we are mourning and in remorse like the prophet Jeremiah whose heart was broken and his bones tremble.

Weapons of war and destruction and the ongoing military exercises will not bring about safety and peace in the Korean Peninsula. Read the rest of this entry »

Rutting deer could become raging tigers, by Gwynne Dyer

[If the USA and South Korea continue to ignore North Korean threats, Kim Jong Un may feel obliged to do something to restore his credibility. This opinion piece by Canadian columnist Gwynne Dyer warns that even a limited local attack could rapidly escalate to full-scale conventional warfare. Gwynne Dyer, OC, is a London-based independent Canadian journalist, syndicated columnist and military historian. Dyer was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His articles are published in 45 countries. This column was originally published on 4 April 2013 –CanKor]

Gwynne DyerThe U.S.-South Korean military exercises will continue until the end of this month, and the North Korean threats to do something terrible if they do not stop grow more hysterical by the day.

Last week, the Great Successor, Kim Jong-un, was shown signing a decree that ordered North Korea’s long-range missile forces to be ready to launch against the United States, while senior military officers looked on approvingly.

On the wall behind Kim was a map, helpfully labelled “U. S. Mainland Strike Plan,” that showed the missile trajectories from North Korea to Hawaii, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas.

These threats are so palpably empty that the instinct of both the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department is to ignore them. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Chicken at the Brink

“Did Seoul just win a terrifying game of chicken?” This question (from a Tweet by Beijing-based Globe & Mail correspondent Mark Mackinnon) was on many minds this week.

On Monday, 20 December 2010, the South Korean military completed a provocative 94-minute live-fire drill as part of its military exercize on Yeonpyeong Island. Despite threats of a deadly response, North Korea failed to take action.

A month earlier, a similar exercize prompted North Korea to launch a deadly artillery barrage on the island, destroying the homes of villagers and leaving two civilians and two soldiers dead, many others wounded.

DPRK: Stop shooting into our territorial waters!
ROK: Stop shooting onto our islands!
DPRK: You do that again and we’ll shoot harder!
ROK: Just go ahead! Make our day!

Read the rest of this entry »

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