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WCC statement welcomes hopeful turn in Korea

WCC statement welcomes hopeful turn in Korea

Christians from North Korea and South Korea holding hands in unity during the WCC's 70th anniversary celebration. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

20 June 2018

In the wake of the recent Panmunjom Declaration, signed in April by South Korean President Moon Jae-In and Chairman Kim Jung Un of North Korea (DPRK), as well as the June summit of Chairman Kim with US President Donald J. Trump, the WCC central committee has re-assessed the prospects for peace on the troubled Korean peninsula.

“The WCC central committee joins in hope-filled affirmation of the recent steps towards the reduction of nuclear-armed military confrontation, towards peaceful co-existence on the Korean Peninsula, and towards the possible resolution of the long, painful and tragic division of its people,” a new WCC statement said, hailing the summit as “an important first step back from the brink of nuclear-armed confrontation, and towards a more peaceful and secure future in the region.”

The statement asked all parties to work toward “full implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, as the accepted framework for securing a sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

The statement also encourages continued, even accelerated WCC-initiated visits and exchanges and urges redoubled efforts toward replacing the 1953 armistice agreement with an actual peace treaty, complete nuclear disarmament and eventual reunification.

The central committee also called for “ecumenical cooperation rather than competition in responding to new opportunities for mission and diakonia arising from the recent political developments.”

The statement also comes on the heels of a recent visit led by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and WCRC general secretary Rev. Dr Chris Ferguson, to Pyongyang on 3-7 May, at the invitation of the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

See the central committee’s full Korea statement here

Learn more about recent ecumenical initiatives in Korea