Tag Archives: North Korea

4.27 People’s Peace Chain in New York: For peace on the Korean peninsula!

58629910_1577272632407429_8217700354960130048_nWhy do we join hands?

On April 27, 2018, the Inter-Korean Summit opened the door to peace on the Korean peninsula between North and South Korea. On April 27, 2019, the people of South Korea and Korean-Americans of the New York metropolitan area will come together for the final push to obtain peace. Half a million Koreans in South Korea will gather across the country to participate in the People’s Peace Chain action, covering the entire line of the Demilitarized Zone to wish for harmony and to promote peace on the Korean peninsula. With the same goal for peace in mind, we have organized community members and formed the “Committee for 4.27 Min (People) + Peace People’s Chain Action.”

The peace process on the Korean Peninsula will not be achieved through slow inter-governmental negotiations alone. It must be fostered by people with a collective history who have the incentive and drive to chart the course of our future together. We will usher an age of renewed trust and harmony as we put forth our desire to create a powerful and lasting peace. The People’s Peace Chain will be created with all of this in mind on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 in front of the United Nations, where we will be joining hands connecting the Permanent Mission of both North and South Korea to the United Nations. On the same day, 500000 people in South Korea will create a People’s Peace Chain of three hundred and twenty miles along the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, which has been a steadfast symbol of distrust and conflict on the Korean peninsula.

A dream that is dreamt by many becomes reality. Join the ‘4.27 People’s Peace Chain Action’. Join hands in front of the UN and make the dream for a future peace reality!

Who can participate?

• Anyone who wishes for the peace on the Korean peninsula

When and Where to meet

• April 27th, Saturday at 1PM
• Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (2nd Ave and 47th St)
• Please wear a blue top if you can.

How to Join:

• When you arrive, please register and receive a souvenir at the information desk that will be located inside the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.
• Write a peace message on the message board, which will be delivered to the Permanent Mission of both North and South Korea.
• Enjoy cultural performances and participate in a rally wishing for the peace on the Korean Peninsula.
• After the rally, everyone will move to the area under the guidance of the Marshall Team to create a People’s Peace Chain.
• Join hands to create ‘4.27 People’s Peace Chain’ from the Permanent Mission of South Korea to the Permanent Mission of North Korea!

To support with donations
• Make a check payable to: NY NUAC
• Mail to:
Woori Church of New York
53-71 72nd Place. Maspeth, NY 11378

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Act for peace for Korea

Act for peace on the Korean Peninsula – sign the petition asking the U.S. government to enter negotiations for a peace treaty. 0001-42

On July 27, 1953, the guns fell silent on the Korean peninsula. An armistice brought three years of war to an end. However, a peace treaty has never replaced this cease fire.

Tensions remain between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. At times tensions heighten. Periodically they boil over into violent clashes. The continuing conflict diverts precious resources from the welfare of the people on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone.

The United States holds a special responsibility for a peaceful resolution of the conflict as it occupied the southern part of the peninsula in 1945 and signed the armistice in 1953. The United States maintains a military presence in the Republic of Korea. Joint military exercises fuel the tension with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Churches in the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korean, the United States, and around the world have joined a campaign to call President Obama and Congress to enter negotiations now for a Korean peace treaty, without conditions, to replace the armistice agreement.

The Korean Peninsula has known separation and conflict since 1945. It is time, it is past time, for peace for Korea.

Sign the petition asking the U.S. government to enter negotiations for a peace treaty. Invite your friends to join you. Let’s give peace a chance.

 

 

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Time for an end after 60 years

IMG_2732 (533x800)On June 25, 1950, conflict broke out on the divided Korean Peninsula. North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, an artificial line of demarcation chosen by the winning superpowers after World War II, invading South Korea.

The police action, the Korean Conflict, the Korean War expanded to include forces from South Korea, North Korea, the United States, and the People’s Republic of China. Fifteen other countries provided combat troops to the United Nations Command, created by UN Security Council Resolution 83, recommending that members of the United Nations aid South Korea.  Several other countries provided humanitarian aid. The Soviet Union aided North Korea with advisers and  material assistance.

The fighting ranged up and down the Korean Peninsula with neither side gaining an advantage. The number of killed and wounded among combatants and non-combatants is disputed. CNN suggests that:

The toll of the war included about 1.2 million deaths in South Korea, 1 million deaths in North Korea, 36,500 deaths for U.S. troops and 600,000 deaths for Chinese soldiers.

After more than three years, an armistice was signed on July 27, 2013 – sixty years ago. This armistice was a truce, a ceasefire. A treaty ending the war has never been signed. Military commanders from the People’s Republic of China and North Korea signed the armistice with the US-led United Nations Command signing on behalf of the international community. South Korea did not sign.

The truce has generally held, but many of the people living on the Korean Peninsula want a true peace. They view such a peace as the an important step toward the end of the periodic tensions and confrontations that arise. In this anniversary year, efforts to seek such a peace are increasing.

The ecumenical community in the United States has created a Korean Peace Petition to send to the Obama Administration. The petition, which you can download and sign, encourages the administration to move toward a path to peace and reconciliation

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Church of Korea issued a Joint Statement on the Peace of the Korean Peninsula that called members and congregations to join in a Season of Prayer for peace in Korea. My friends Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee serve as mission co-workers in South Korea. They have written a prayer for the Season of Peace that begins:

God of the universe, God of the nations,
The people of the Korean Peninsula are crying out,
They no longer wish to live in the shadow of war,
They no longer wish to have resources diverted from life toward death,
They no longer wish to live in fear of the next possible misjudgment in calculation and rhetoric,
They yearn for healing and truth,
You call us to be a people of light, of life, and of peace,
But we have stood silent as our country perpetuates the machinations of death, darkness, and war.
How long, O Lord, must the Korean people live in a state of war?

Check out the whole prayer. Use it. Use other prayers. Pray for the peace of Korean Peninsula.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Nations

A Joint Statement on the Peace of the Korean Peninsula

Having the privilege of visiting the Republic of Korea recently, I was further privilege to attend a consultation between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Presbyterian Church of Korea where the participants wrote this statement on the peace of the Korean Peninsula:

Presbyterians in the United States and Korea have a long history of shared mission as followers of Jesus Christ. Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Church of Korea gathered from April 17 – 19, 2013 to pray and think together about future directions our shared mission might take.

The mission consultation occurred at a time of increased tension on the Korean Peninsula. Out of a shared faith and concern, the gathered group wrote a joint statement on the peace of the Korean Peninsula.

While each communion has spoken for peace and justice on the Korean Peninsula in the past, this marks one of the few times that representatives of the two communions have made a joint statement:

God shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. ~ Isaiah 2:4

Representatives of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (PC(USA)), including the moderators of each denomination, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), the General Secretary of the PCK, and leading staff members in ecumenical relations and mission of each denomination, met on April 17-19, 2013, at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Kentucky, to consult on our shared mission in the name of Jesus Christ. For more than 129 years Presbyterians in Korea and the United States have worked in a costly fellowship to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to seek human rights, democratization, and peaceful reunification for all the Korean people.

This consultation took place at a time of escalating tensions among South Korea, North Korea, and the United States. The current crisis concerns us deeply and points to larger, unresolved issues, including the division of the Korean Peninsula after Korea’s liberation from Japan, the unended Korean War, the separation of families, and the presence of nuclear weapons on the peninsula. In response to Christ, we issue this joint statement that calls for steps that may lead nations and peoples in the way of justice-peace for life

In the short term, we call

  • The governments of the United States, South Korea, and North Korea to enter immediately into dialogue to ease the current tensions on the Korean Peninsula by ending inflammatory rhetoric, confrontational policies, and provocative military exercises.
  • The governments of the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and Japan to support such dialogue.
  • The governments of the United States and South Korea to resume humanitarian aid to North Korea and to work with the government of North Korea and the international community to ensure that the aid reaches the people of North Korea who are in need.
  • The United Nations to appoint a special representative to work for a peaceful solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
  • The United Nations Security Council to lift sanctions on North Korea, recognizing that sanctions interfere with humanitarian efforts by churches and other aid agencies.

For the long-term, we call

  • The governments of the United States, South Korea, and North Korea to
    • pursue the security and well-being of all the people of the Korean Peninsula rather than simply the security of nation states;
    • enter into negotiations toward a peaceful resolution of the situation on the Korean Peninsula that will include the replacement of the armistice with an interstate agreement establishing a just and lasting peace that moves toward peaceful reunification; and
    • work with the international community to establish a nuclear-free zone and limit the arms trade on the Korean Peninsula, and to support economic development in North Korea.
  • The governments of the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and Japan to support such initiatives and efforts.

Recognizing the key role of people of faith, we call

  • The PCK and the PC(USA) to
    • Pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula and to engage in a season of prayer and reflection from June 25 (the date the Korean War began in 1950) through August 15 (the date Korea was liberated from Japanese occupation in 1945).
      • For the people of the PCK, this season of prayer will be a time to remember the suffering of separated families on the Korean Peninsula; and to acknowledge that, since the partition of the peninsula, the Christian commitment to reconciliation has been compromised by the trauma of a fratricidal war; discipleship compromised by bitterness; and faithfulness compromised by fear and hostility.
      • For the people of the PC(USA), this season of prayer will be a time to reflect critically on how the division of the Korean Peninsula, the unended Korean War, and the separation of families have harmed the Korean people and on what the historical roles of the United States have been in relation to the Korean Peninsula; and to call the United States government to implement a policy of peaceful engagement in relation to Korea.
    • For the people of both churches, this will be a time to deepen their commitment to work for healing, reconciliation, and peaceful reunification that will create a culture of peace in Korea and all of North East Asia.
    • Create a joint working group on justice-peace for life in North East Asia, participating in the North East Asia Ecumenical Forum on Justice-Peace for Life.
    • Collaborate with the broader ecumenical community to mobilize women’s gifts for building peace on the Korean Peninsula and North East Asia.
    • Participate in the work of the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches for healing, reconciliation and peaceful reunification.
    • Work with ecumenical bodies, people of other faiths, and people of good will for healing, reconciliation, and peaceful reunification in Korea.
    • Support people-to-people interactions between the United States, South Korea, and North Korea in religious, cultural, artistic, academic, athletic, and other fields.
  • The PC(USA) to participate in a proposed ecumenical delegation from the United States that would visit both South Korea and North Korea.

We ask the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) and the General Secretary of the PCK to communicate this statement to their respective denominations, to appropriate government officials in their respective countries, North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and Japan, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the members of the United Nations Security Council, and to the ecumenical community.

We affirm our commitment to walk in humility, with open minds, prepared to change our ways fulfilling the ministry of reconciliation as we follow the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. ~ Matthew 5:9

Participants from the Presbyterian Church of Korea included the Rev. Dr. Dal Ig Son, Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Hong Jung Lee, General Secretary, the Rev. Chang-bae Byun, Executive Secretary of Ecumenical Relations and Planning, the Rev. Dr. Jeong Kwon Lee, Executive Secretary for World Mission, and the Rev. Dr. Hyunju Bae, Professor at the Busan Presbyterian University. Participants from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) included the Rev. Neal Presa, Ph.D. Moderator of the 220th General Assembly, the Rev. Gradye Parsons Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Robina Winbush, Associate Stated Clerk for Ecumenical Relations, Office of the General Assembly, Elder Linda Valentine, Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency,the Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission, and the Rev. Mienda Uriarte, Area Coordinator, Asia and the Pacific, Presbyterian Mission Agency

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