International Ministries

Peace for Korean Peninsula

December 20, 2010 Journal
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Peace for Korean Peninsula
Benjamin Chan
December 20, 2010

You’ve probably heard about the intensifying tension in the Korean Peninsula. Just two days ago Russia and China warned that further hostility may lead to a serious military confrontation. If this occurs, not only would it devastate the lives of the 73 million people in North and South Korea, but it would also damage the surrounding countries and impact the world’s economy. The National Council of Churches in Korea issued a “Statement on the Planned Live-fire Drill of the South Korean government: Violence begets violence; let us seek for the way of peace together!” on December 19. In the Statement, General Secretary Kim Young-Ju asked that both governments must begin a sincere dialogue for the future of the nation and for the peace and security of the people.  We also urge the states surrounding the Korean peninsula to consolidate all their efforts to transform the current situation of crisis into co-prosperity of the region through dialogue and cooperation.”

 I am relieved to learn that North Korea stated that they “would not strike back despite earlier threats to retaliate for the maneuvers” – according to the yahoo news this morning: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101220/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_clash. Please continue to pray for the situation of Korean Peninsula, and the countries of the Six-Party Talk. Please also pray for the Church in Korea and the ecumenical partners who work hard for a peaceful resolution and the re-unification of the two Koreas. American Baptists have supported the Bongsoo Noodle Factory in Pyongyang, Capital of North Korea, to provide food for orphanages and needy families.

The NCCK Statement issued on Dec. 19, 2010

Statement on the planned live-fire drill of the South Korean government:Violence begets violence; let us seek for the way of peace together!

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:41-42)

We are desperately praying for the peace of the Korean peninsula as we are waiting for Jesus Christ, the prince of peace in this season of Advent. Just a month ago, artillery fire at Yeonpyeong Island killed several soldiers and civilians and devastated the homes and livelihood sources of the community. Grieving the loss of the people and community, NCCK expressed deep concerns over the critical situation of the escalating military tension in the Korean peninsula. We also reiterate that we are against any military clashes and warfare in the Korean peninsula, for any reason.

Again all Korean people, even before the wound of the Yeonpyeong Island incident is healed, are going through a painful period of anxiety and fear as the South Korean government announced it will hold a live-fire drill on the west coast on Dec. 20-22 and North Korea, in turn, has vowed to retaliate. Whether the drill is justified or not, it is a provocative action which can lead to war.  It is obvious that the military provocations between two Koreas threaten the peace of the Korean peninsula, create anxiety among people and severely hit the economy, bringing unrecoverable disaster to the Korean peninsula. Therefore, we reiterate that the rigid position of the South Korean government in going ahead with the drill is not a responsible attitude as their duty is to secure the safety of the people and the peace of the nation.

Now is the time that both South and North Korea must refrain from any provocative actions which will destroy the two Koreas altogether.  Now is the time that both governments must begin a sincere dialogue for the future of the nation and for the peace and security of the people.  We also urge the states surrounding the Korean peninsula to consolidate all their efforts to transform the current situation of crisis into co-prosperity of the region through dialogue and cooperation. Peace of the Korean peninsula is directly connected with peace of Asia as well as of the whole world. Therefore, we humbly request that the surrounding states sincerely work for peace of the Korean peninsula without reflecting, if any, their political, military and economic interests.              

We believe that Jesus Christ will be with us when we truly seek for the way of peace. We sincerely pray for the way of peace in the Korean peninsula that we love and will hand over to the next generation.

Kim Young-Ju

General Secretary

National Council of Churches in Korea