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Statement on Peace and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

The World Council of Churches (WCC) joins the National Council of Churches in [South] Korea (NCCK) in expressing grave concern at the re-deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to the seas surrounding the Korean peninsula. In a context of already heightened tensions - especially in the midst of the ongoing joint US and South Korean Foal Eagle-Key Resolve military exercises and the steps being taken to deploy the US missile defence system THAAD in South Korea, and North Korean threats of a nuclear response - this constitutes a further escalation of military confrontation in the region.

12 April 2017

The World Council of Churches (WCC) joins the National Council of Churches in [South] Korea (NCCK) in expressing grave concern at the re-deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to the seas surrounding the Korean peninsula. In a context of already heightened tensions - especially in the midst of the ongoing joint US and South Korean Foal Eagle-Key Resolve military exercises and the steps being taken to deploy the US missile defence system THAAD in South Korea, and North Korean threats of a nuclear response - this constitutes a further escalation of military confrontation in the region.

WCC has been engaged for more than 30 years in promoting dialogue and encounter between North and South Korean Christians, accompanied and supported by representatives of the global fellowship of churches in WCC membership. Our purpose has been and continues to be the promotion of peace and reunification of a country and people divided by an unresolved conflict. Particularly in recent years almost all other channels of dialogue and encounter have been closed off, in favour of escalating military confrontation and tightening sanctions. We do not believe that this is a recipe for peace, but rather for increasing the risk of conflict. War cannot achieve a sustainable peace, as the modern history of the Korean peninsula all too tragically demonstrates.

We call urgently for measures to reduce tensions and promote dialogue and negotiations, rather than initiatives such as those now being taken that can only increase tensions and the risk of conflict that would prove catastrophic for all Koreans, North and South, as well as for people throughout the region and the world.

We call for all people of good will to join in praying for wisdom and restraint on the part of all those with the instruments of such deadly force in their hands, and for peace and unity among the people of the Korean peninsula.

 

Geneve 12 April, 2017

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

General Secretary

World Council of Churches