World Church Leaders Praised North Korea's 'Almost Miraculous' Change

By Mei Manuel, May 09, 2018 04:05 AM

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in(National Post)

A special international delegation of church leaders praised the 'almost miraculous new spring' for North Korea after visiting Pyongyang following the historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea.

The six-person delegation from the World Council of Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches visited Pyongyang from May 3 to 7 at the invitation of the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea. The visit is not new because while North Korea remained closed off to the international community, save for some international partnerships, world church bodies regularly visit the country and continue to support reunification of the two Koreas.

The statement of the delegation praises North Korea's moves to alleviate the tensions in the region and its intent to achieve a peace treaty to restore peace in the Peninsula.

It said: " We celebrate and affirm the joint declaration of commitment to realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula - in the context of our efforts for a nuclear-free world through advocacy for universal ratification and implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."

The delegation also met up with North Korea's Presidium of the Supreme Peoples Assembly of the DPRK President Kim Yong Nam, who, alongside South Korea's minister for reunification Cho Myung-gyun, "affirmed and emphasized the importance of the role of church leaders and faith communities in past and future efforts for peace and reunification of the Korean people."

The statement also adds, "The delegation saw the Inter-Korean Summit and its outcomes as an almost miraculous new spring for peace in the region, after months and years of dangerously escalating tensions."

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit also added, "We visited Pyongyang in a beautiful new spring season, not only in the natural world but also in the relations between the people and governments of the Korean peninsula.'

"We know that spring is also a season in which to work, to ensure that we reap a good harvest of what has been sown."

The delegation in its statement also urged "all churches, all Christians called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be peacemakers, and all people of good will around the world to join in supporting the Korean-led initiatives for peace expressed in the Panmunjom Declaration [signed by the leaders of the North and South at their summit], as a foundation and framework for achieving a sustainable peace for the Korean people, for the region, and for the world".

 

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