Churches appeal for peaceful dialogue in Korea

By agency reporter
October 3, 2017

Churches in Korea and in the USA continue to appeal for peaceful dialogue and an end to the threat of military action that has caused profound concern across the world.

After participating in a press conference on 28 September 2017 , the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) issued an urgent appeal to the international community for peace in Korea.

“Peace cannot be achieved through arms,” the statement reads. “As apostles of peace, the Korean churches, together with 10 million followers, strongly oppose a second war in the peninsula and therefore would not tolerate any forms of military actions aggravating the situation.”

To resolve the current crisis in a peaceful manner, the NCCK appealed to governments, churches and civil societies in the world.

The statement says the United States should immediately halt its military threats as well as sanctions on North Korea and create an atmosphere for peaceful dialogue. “North Korea should stop its nuclear tests and respond to the dialogue requests of the neighbouring countries including South Korea and the US,” the statement continues.

The NCCK also reiterated its support for a world free from nuclear weapons. “South Korea should consolidate all its efforts to bring the US and North Korea to the table for dialogue,” adds the statement. “We urge the South Korean government to immediately dispatch special envoys to North Korea, the US, China, Russia and Japan in order to de-escalate the present tension and seek ways for peace.”

The NCCK also asked political leaders, the media and people in South Korea to cease war-provoking words and cooperate together for peace-building. “In 2015, North and South exchanged artillery fire at the western border, but both governments peacefully overcame the crisis with dialogue,” the statement reflects. “Dialogue is the only way to avert a war.”

In the USA, the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC) is gathering signatures for “An Open Letter From Americans of Faith to President Donald Trump.”

The letter expresses profound concern over the rise in tensions between the United States and North Korea. “We recognise the unfortunate choice of language and careless posturing of Kim Jong Un”,  reads the letter. “ For the sake of peace, however, we urge you to cease utilising bellicose language and name-calling in your public speeches and tweets and instead pursue diplomacy as befitting the leader of the free world.”

The NCCC letter states nuclear war must never take place. “You are the leader of the world’s strongest nuclear superpower, and therefore you have a responsibility to act with probity, tact, and care”, says  the letter. “While we do not defend Kim Jong Un or condone the dangerous rhetoric employed by his regime, equally reckless talk by you could lead to a miscalculation in which millions of lives could be lost.”

Nuclear war that can destroy millions of people puts the whole world at risk and is fundamentally immoral, the letter continues. “For this reason, we urge you to take the higher road, and thereby project strength that comes through silence. Further, we urge you to launch a new, bold, and comprehensive diplomatic appeal to find a permanent solution to the problem of nuclear proliferation worldwide.”

* Read the NCCK appeal here

* NCCC http://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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