The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA joins with the National Council of Churches of Korea and the World Council of Churches in giving thanks for the wonderful reports emanating from the meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas indicating the armistice that ended the war in 1953 may finally be replaced by a peace treaty. For decades, we have prayed and worked for peace alongside all of our sisters and brothers from Korea. We continue to be in prayer for the possibility of a successful meeting in the coming weeks between the leaders of the United States and North Korea. May God continue to guide our leaders along the path to peace.
Statement by the National Council of Churches in Korea
“Panmunjom Declaration”: the beginning of a new history of reconciliation and peace
Today we are deeply moved by the step made towards a new history of reconciliation and peace on the Korean peninsula. The summit which started with the two leaders of Korea crossing the military demarcation line (MDL) has deeply moved the heart of all Koreans and the people in the world.
Having recognized the absurdity and pain brought forth by separation, for more than 50 years the NCCK has worked for the reconciliation and peace of Korea while praying without ceasing. Therefore, the NCCK welcomes the historical Declaration pronounced by the two Korean leaders at the Panmunjom Peace House on April 27, and we show a great respect to the two leaders who eventually worked out the Declaration.
The NCCK respects the agreed promises in the Declaration that are of great significance for a peaceful coexistence, prosperity, and for reunification in the Korean peninsula.
We sincerely support the following aspects in the Declaration:
- We strongly support the agreement to replace the armistice treaty with a peace treaty by the end of this year and to build a long-lasting and stable peace in the peninsula through complete denuclearization.
- We strongly support the agreement to transform the demilitarization zone into a “peace zone” and to establish a peace zone in the West Sea. We also support the commitment to cease all hostile military acts.
- We strongly support the agreement to ensure the participation of civilians in the reunification process as seen in the decision to establish a joint liaison office and to resume the reunion events of the separated families.
The NCCK hopes that the agreements are thoroughly enforced to ensure the end of the 70-year-old separation and conflict, and in their stead to bring long-lasting peace in the Korean peninsula. Furthermore, we hope that through the North Korea-US Summit next month, there will be permanent peace in the peninsula and we ask that all countries, civil societies, and churches actively cooperate.
April 27, 2018
Rev. Lee Hong Jung, General Secretary
Rev. Ra Haek Jib, Chair of Reconciliation & Reunification Committee
National Council of Churches in Korea