On behalf of the National Council of Churches, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the World Council of Churches for its faithful pilgrimage of justice and peace with the people on the Korean Peninsula, and particularly to its Deputy General Secretary Dr. Ioan Sauca for his warm, open-hearted, humorous and well-balanced ecumenical leadership.
I must express my deep friendship with the CCIA team, its Director Dr. Peter Prove and his sincere colleague, Rev. Dr. Kim Jin-Yang, for their compassionate solidarity for the on-going Korean Peace Process particularly for the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Cooperation of the Korean Peninsula, the EFK.
Today in the midst of the multifaceted crises driven by the US-China hegemonic conflict and the Russo-Ukrainian War, the global superpowers are continuously designing the Neo-Cold War Order by separating the world according to alliances and partnerships based on their own interests and values.
As the whole human community and creation faces a fatal climate crisis, this newly developing Neo-Cold War Order further creates possibilities to trigger a nuclear war as we can see its possibility through the Russo-Ukrainian War and the brinkmanship between DPRK’s missile tests and ROK- USA-Japan’s trilateral military drills.
Along with these crises, we have cautiously concerned about a civilizational clash in the Middle East as an active volcano, a series of reckless genocide committed by military dictatorial regimes in Myanmar, Philippine, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan etc., and various forms of racism and patriarchy which have exquisitely oppressed the marginalized people according to their colors, genders, ethnicity, identities, age etc.
We are now living in a collapse-driven human society with an irreparable eschatological crisis of the whole life community.
In order to respond to the total brokenness of the global human society and creation, we the World Council of Churches gathered together in Karlsruhe, Germany, a month ago, as the 11th General Assembly by face to face across the five oceans and six continents being infected by the COVID-19.
With a kenotic spirituality we have faithfully entrusted ourselves to the God of Life by confessing that “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”
We have prayed that the God of Life make us embody Christ’s love that moves the world to reconciliation and unity.
We have in unity made the common witness to the world being suffered in a total crisis by proclaiming that Christ’s love always embraces the world, leading the process of reconciliation and unity with God’s truth.
The Korean people have been crying for reconciliation and unity in the context of division and the never-ending Korean War.
Participating in the WCC 11th Karlsruhe Assembly with my feet on the soil of the Federal Republic of Germany, a peacefully unified German soil, I once again painfully recognize the historical reality that the Korean Peninsula has been in a forever war driven by the division and cold war system since 1950 when the Korean War broke out.
As the Korean War continues under the armistice established in 1953, the psychological socialization of the division and the Cold War were internalized both in North and South Korean societies, mutual distrust and hostility became an iron fortress, and imagination for peace has retrogressed.
The Korean War has become a symbol of anti-peace and a crucial obstacle on the way to the future of peace, entrenching the division system of the Korean Peninsula and driving the Korean Peninsula into the quagmire of the world military industrial complex.
Today’s neo-Cold War Order is further escalating a hostile symbiotic tension and brinkmanship on the Korean Peninsula and threatening people’s life-security.
The recently developing ROK-US-Japan trilateral military drills and their cold war-oriented alliance and partnership will eventually bog down the Korean Peace Process, clearly demonstrating that the geopolitical fate of the Korean Peninsula has been held hostage in an ‘alliance trap’.
As long as the US uses the existing multilayered sanctions against the DPRK and ROK-US-Japan military drills and cooperation as means of "practical diplomacy," it will be difficult to resume independent and reciprocal peace-building cooperation between the two Koreas.
Throughout the history of division and cold war what we the Korean people learn is that peace does not come from the muzzle of guns, and is not made by presidents and their generals tied with alliances and partners in a Neo-Cold War Order.
The main subjects of peace-building are us, “we the people,” who live on the democratic values of sovereignty resting with people.
The crucial key points are the people’s consciousness of peace-sovereignty, and our will for building peace-alliance in solidarity with love and justice.
People’s power must be our strategy for building peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Sincerely hoping that we the WCC will embody the love of Christ that moves the Korean Peninsula and the world to reconciliation and unity, I would like to once again thank you Ioan, Peter, Jin-Yang and Vasile-Octavian for your sacrificial commitment to achieve a just and sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula through the life and ministry of the WCC.
For the continuing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, Reconciliation and Unity for the Korean Peninsula, let us deepen our spirituality, strategy and expertise for enhancing social reconciliation and visible unity between the North and the South.
For this, let us mobilize the WCC’s potential capacity as a faith-based civil peace diplomacy by organizing all the relevant personnel resources of its member churches.
May the God of Peace heal and reconcile the broken and wounded web of life in the earth life community!
May the love of Christ move the world to reconciliation and unity!
May the Holy Spirit be the driving force of our peace-alliance!
Peace be with you! Peace be with you! And peace be with you!