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Statement on Korean Peninsula

Statement of the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches on Korean Peninsula

19 April 2018

The World Council of Churches (WCC) welcomes the recent initiatives to establish meaningful and constructive dialogue between the United States of America and North Korea. According to reports of CIA director Mike Pompeo’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, it is apparent that a new openness to constructive engagement has for the time being replaced the dangerously escalating rhetoric between the two nations. This is a very positive sign and important foundation for the planned US-North Korean summit at the beginning of June or end of May.

The WCC especially welcomes the expressed support given by President Trump for the two Koreas “to discuss the end of the war”, during their own summit meeting scheduled for 27 April. The WCC and its partners in both South and North Korea have repeatedly and consistently called for a peace treaty to replace the Armistice Agreement of 1953, in order to definitively conclude the suspended state of war and to enable the current challenges to peaceful coexistence on the Korean peninsula to be addressed more clearly and pragmatically. We are gratified and encouraged that the possibility and utility of this long-overdue step is finally being recognized by the most important parties to this tragic unresolved conflict, which has poisoned relations in the region for so long.

We encourage all parties to continue on this new path of peace, and invite all Christians and people of good will around the world to support all efforts to ease tensions, to sustain hope and to promote peaceful coexistence on the Korean peninsula.

Geneva, 19 April, 2018

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary
World Council of Churches

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