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NCCK, WCC continue efforts for peaceful coexistence on Korean Peninsula

NCCK, WCC continue efforts for peaceful coexistence on Korean Peninsula

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in meeting with church leaders during the 3rd Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps

04 October 2018

National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) general secretary Rev. Lee Hong Jung, invited by the South Korean presidential administration, attended the 3rd Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang in September with President Moon Jae-In as part of a 53-member delegation of South Koreans from various sectors of society.

Dr Chang Sang, World Council of Churches President for Asia, also participated in the delegation.

The NCCK released a statement welcoming the results of President Moon's latest summit with Chairman Kim Jong Un. The NCCK affirmed the "Agreement on the Implementation of the Historic Panmunjom Declaration in the Military Domain" and the creation of an Inter-Korea Joint Military Committee to effectively end all military hostilities between the two countries.

The NCCK also affirmed the agreements on economic and humanitarian cooperation, particularly the prioritization of meetings between separated family members. The NCCK celebrated Chairman Kim’s promise to dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch platform, with the hope that this will lead the way to better relations between North Korea and the USA.

On 29 September, Peter Prove, WCC director for international affairs, offered a keynote address at the “2018 Global Peace Forum on Korea: Peace and Prosperity for Korea and the World” at Columbia University in New York City, stressing particularly the need for swift progress towards a peace treaty to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement.

Prove noted that “ an armistice is not a peace, and the suspended state of war in the region has provided a fertile context for the perpetuation of Cold War era hostilities and tensions, for the continued division of the Korean people, and the highest risk of catastrophic conflict regionally and globally.”

“In this moment of new fragile hope, the WCC is convinced that efforts for a peace treaty to replace the Armistice Agreement should have paramount importance – as a means of drawing a line under the painful history of the Korean War, and encouraging a fresh engagement with the current realities of the peninsula. We believe that the process of negotiating a peace treaty should not be postponed to encompass the resolution of all the current challenges and disputes, but that embarking now on the process of negotiating a peace treaty will produce a ‘peace dividend’ and will help build the confidence and trust that would enable those current challenges to be addressed.”

Full keynote address by Peter Prove at the “2018 Global Peace Forum on Korea: Peace and Prosperity for Korea and the World”, New York

Learn more about WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

National Council of Churches in Korea