As the leaders of North and South Korea formally vowed to end the war and work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the World Council of Churches (WCC) celebrated this moment as an affirmation of long-held ecumenical hopes and dreams for peace and reconciliation among the Korean people.
“The World Council of Churches and the worldwide ecumenical movement join with all people of good will in celebrating the historic contributions made by today’s Inter-Korean Summit to the growing movement for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula,” said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “The reported commitment by both leaders to actively pursue the replacement of the Armistice Agreement with a Peace Treaty this year – thereby formally ending the Korean War – would, if achieved, be the realization of a call promoted by the National Council of Churches in South Korea, the Korean Christian Federation in North Korea, and the World Council of Churches for many years, but long dismissed as impossible by political ‘realists’. But peace is possible.”
Tveit stressed that the signing of a such a peace treaty “will be the start, not yet the end, of the work for a sustainable and secure peace for current and future generations of people in the region.”
“That the leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to work together to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons will also inspire and strengthen the ongoing efforts of the WCC, its member churches, and their many partners to denuclearize the entire world, not just the Korean Peninsula,” he added. “The continued existence of nuclear weapons anywhere is an intolerable threat to people everywhere.”