Meeting with Christians from North and South Korea

After the Central Committee Meeting of the World Council of Churches and the visit of Pope Francis, representatives from the North Korean Christian Federation (KCF) and the National Council of Churches Korea (NCCK) are meeting for two days with delegates from Churches in Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, USA and from different Ecumenical Bodies. We all come together under the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula (EFK). Initiating this Forum EKHN played an important role as host of the first meeting in Arnoldshain.

Delegation from North Korea with Erich Weingärtner (3rd from left) and Peter Prove representing WCC (4th from left)

After the Inter-Korean Summit at Panmunjom on April 27th 2018 and the meeting of Trump and Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore our meeting of the EFK in Geneva took place in a good mood. This is the time when a peace treaty could become reality. Therefore we have to continue to struggle for an atomic weapon free Korean Peninsula (not only North Korea!), that the sanctions have to be taken back and all efforts have to be made for economical growth in North Korea.

Not the meeting in Singapore but the Panmunjom Declaration was in the focus of our discussions. The main three points in the Declaration are:

1. South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and ground-breaking advancement in inter-Korean relations.

2. South an North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.

3. South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unnatural state of armistice and establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further. 

Ten years back in 2008 it was for the first time when representatives from North and South Korea met in the Ecumenical Forum. It was a great pleasure for EKHN to host this important meeting in Arnoldshain. Since that time we are joining EFK in their pilgrimage for justice and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Photo: Lutz Drescher

My message to the auditorium today was:

EKHN together with EMS and EKD will continue the journey with the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula.

EKHN is willing to support further on the peace treaty campaign (for 2019 are plans of the Reunification Committee of the NCCK to visit heads of the Orthodox Churches including the Patriarch in Konstantinopel).

There are main events in Germany in the next years: Kirchentag 2019 in Dortmund; Ökumenischer Kirchentag in May 2021 in Frankfurt; the General Assembly of the WCC in September 2021 in Karlsruhe. If there are any plans of the Ecumenical Forum for initiatives, encounters, meetings or programs related to this events EKHN is ready to step in and to support.

Since many years EKHN is supporting campaigns of the comfort women. At present we are searching the right place to present a monument for the comfort women in the area of our church. Presenting this monument should be done under the presence of representatives from the Ecumenical Forum.

 

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