Home > NCCK NEWS
 
SUBJECT
Narrative Report on NCCK Peace Treaty Campaign 2017
NAME Manns E-MAIL ncckintl@kncc.or.kr
DATE 2017-07-26 HIT 2001
ADD FIEL
SNS
                           

A Narrative Report on a Korea Peace Treaty 

 

Campaign in Europe

June 26- July 8, 2017

 

 

Background

The National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) has been exerting their strength on behalf of peace and reconciliation for the Korean peninsula along with churches around the world and peace-loving forces. Pain and suffering among Koreans have been aggravated by the hatred and hostility between two Koreas since the Korean War. Especially, North Koreans suffer with the decades-long sanctions against the North by the international society. Furthermore, the Korean peninsula could be a flash point at any time due to the constant military confrontation in the Northeast Asia, and recently the intensifying US-Korea joint military drills and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) deployment in the South by the US have provoked aggression and antagonism between the two Koreas.

 

NCCK is committed to campaigning for peace and promoting peace in the Korean peninsula. Beginning with the Peace Train in 2013 in conjunction with the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the NCCK has initiated a signature campaign that calls for the signing of a peace treaty. The signature campaign for a peace treaty culminated in the US campaign tour with a 22-person NCCK delegation on July 18-29, 2016. On July 27, the day of the Korean armistice agreement 63 years ago, the NCCK delegation together with NCCCUSA delivered the campaign signatures to President Barack Obama calling for a peace treaty to replace the armistice. With the submission of the campaign signatures to President Park Geun-hye in 2015 and President Barack Obama in 2016, the NCCK has decided to continue the peace treaty campaign on the global scale at least until 2018 to mobilize support from the global ecumenical partners.

 

The Europe campaign trip began on June 26 with participation in the General Conference meeting of the Methodist Church in Britain and ended with a meeting with the World Alliance of YMCA in Geneva. In spite of a very intensive daily schedule for two weeks, all 24 NCCK representatives participated in the campaign with a strong faith that a Korea peace treaty is a platform for the permanent peace system in the Korean peninsula.

 

We believe that the peace treaty is a big step towards a lasting peace settlement on the Korean peninsula; it will interrupt the mutual hostility and conflict between the two Koreas. Furthermore, we believe, a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula will lead to peace-building in the Northeast Asia region as well as in the whole world. God will “guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79)


Objective

  • Learn about the Christian spirituality of peace in Europe, especially in Britain, Germany andSwitzerland
  • Deepen solidarity between the Korean church the churches in Europe for the cause of peace and reunification in Korea
  • Renew our commitment to justice, peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula and beyond
  • Articulate a theological vision and hope for peacemaking on the national, regional and global level
  • Raise awareness for the urgent need of a peace treaty among the political leaders in Europe
  • Develop young leaders in Europe who will form a core group to advocate peace in the Korean peninsula
  •  

    Participants

    1. Rev. Kim Young Ju, General Secretary, NCCK
    2. Rev. Ra Heak Jib, Chair NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, PROK
    3. Rev. Jeon Yong Ho, Vice-chair NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, KMC
    4. Rev. Lee Moon Sook, Vice-chair NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, ACWC
    5. Rev. Lee Yong Yoon, Vice-chair, NCCK International Committee, KMC
    6. Rev. Jeong Sang Si, Chair NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, PROK
    7. Rev. Huh Won Bae, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, KMC
    8. Rev. Nam Ki Pyung, KMC, EYCK Youth
    9. Rev. Han Gie Yang, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, PROK,
    10. Rev. Lee Hun Sam, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, PROK
    11. Ms. Choi Ae Ji, PROK, EYCK Youth
    12. Fr. Kim Hyeon Ho, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, Anglican Church in Korea
    13. Fr. Lim Jong Hun, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee Korean Orthodox Church
    14. Dr. Suh Bo Hyug, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, Seoul National University
    15. Dr. Yi Ki Ho, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, Hanshin University
    16. Dr. Lee Un Sunn, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, Sejong University
    17. Dr. Noh Jong Sun, Member NCCK Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, Yonsei University
    18. Dr. Kim Sung Eun, PCK
    19. Rev. Lim Choon Shik, PCUSA
    20. Mr. Choi Kyoung Bae, Journalist, Christian Broadcasting System
    21. Rev. Shin Seung Min, Staff, NCCK
    22. Rev. Roh Hye Min, Staff, NCCK
    23. Ms. Kim Hyun Ju, Staff, NCCK
    24. Ms. Trisha Manns, Staff, NCCK Mission Intern, United Methodist Church

    Overview

    • The Methodist Church in Britain General Conference (Birmingham, UK): June 26
    •  NCCK was invited by the Council of World Mission to share about the Peace Campaign at the Methodist Church in Britain’s General Conference. Dr. Lee Moonsook presented on women’s involvement in the peace movement noting the significant events women have led on the border of North and South Korea. She also spoke on the difference between “peacekeeping”, the action of keeping the current structures in place, and “peacemaking”, the action of creating change and new spaces for peace to exist. She urges for everyone to be peacemakers. The NCCK delegates also heard the stories of pain and struggle from Mexico and Rwanda. Fr. Kim Hyun Ho and Rev. Jeong Song Si led the evening prayer service with the theme “Let the Walls Come Tumbling Down”.

       

    • House of Lords (London, UK): June 27
    •  NCCK met with The Reverend Dr. Lord Leslie Griffiths at the House of Lords in London and had the opportunity to share about the issues that threaten peace on the Korean peninsula. Dr. Noh Jongsun shared his personal struggles during the Korean War after being separated from his family living in the north. He stresses that technically the Korean peninsula is still at war as the Korean War-engaged states have not signed a peace treaty. He concluded that the peace treaty is an absolute “No” to another war in the Korean peninsula and at the same time a cornerstone for a permanent peace system in Korea. Lord Griffiths expressed a great interest in supporting NCCK‘s peace efforts saying perhaps instead of waiting for several others to support the peace movement he should “listen to the lone voice in the wilderness” and support NCCK in their work toward peace. He also expressed his willingness to release an official statement supporting peace in Korea.Follow up: NCCK will write an official letter to Lord Griffiths asking for the British Government to create a friendly international environment for a Korean peace treaty and lift sanctions on the DPRK.

       

    • Korean War Memorial (Linlithgow, Scotland): June 28
    •  NCCK participated in a moving service at the Korean War Memorial in Linlithgow, Scotland. Dr. Lee Unsunn led the service together with Rev. Scott Marshall praying for the lives that were affected from the Korean War. The Korean War veterans who served in the war from Scotland attended the service dressed in their uniforms along with the Mayor and the Lord-Lieutenant of West Lothian. NCCK planted a tree with a plaque reading, “This tree is planted in hope for healing and reconciliation; for all who died and were wounded, and for all who continue to suffer because of division on the Korean peninsula.”Follow up: NCCK will speak with Korean Government under President Moon Jae-In and ask for Korea to contribute to the space to add artistry and charm to the quiet forest. (On July 13, 2017 NCCK met Mr. Lim, the chief secretary of President Moon and brought the requests, and he responded positively.)

       

    • Meeting with Church of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland): June 29
    •  NCCK had a deep discussion session with leaders of the Church of Scotland at the Murrayfield Parish Church Hall at Edinburgh. NCCK presented on the history of peace efforts in Korea and the crucial importance to work toward a peace treaty in the Korean peninsula. At this time, more than ever, peace is necessary and possible with South Korea’s new president. Following the presentation there was an open discussion how the stories of pain and suffering of the divided people in the Korean peninsula can be shared with the constituency of the Church of Scotland.Follow up: NCCK will provide individual stories about the personal pain Koreans have experienced as the peninsula continues to be divided.

       

    • A Day Conference with EKD (Frankfurt, Germany): June 30
    •  A Day conference on the Korea peace treaty was organized by the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Rev. Jeon Yong Ho and Dr. Yi Kiho spoke about the reunification movement of the Korean churches in general and the peace treaty campaign in particular. The EKD shared the stories about the division that Germany experienced when the East was separated from the West. Then the conference participants were divided into 4 groups and shared their views and stories how the two counties can learn from each other on the journey towards peace and justice. Rev. Reinhard Kiersten, an EKD minister reflected on German reunification and stressed that, “reunification is a must, taking into consideration of the division cost and the threat of war.” The German delegation also spelled out that securing the social welfare system and improving human rights are substantial to the process towards reunification.The EKD and the Evangelical Church in Hessen and Nassau (EKHN) reaffirmed their strong support to the NCCK’s peace treaty campaign.Follow up: The working-level officials of the EKD, EKHN and NCCK were asked to develop ideas and wisdom to implement many creative suggestions from the group discussion and plenary session.

       

    • World Communion of Reformed Churches (Leipzig, Germany): July 2-3
    •  The NCCK along with the Korean Christian Federation in North Korea were able to join together for a special Agape Luncheon arranged by the WCRC for the promotion of peace in the Korean peninsula. It was a moving service for all who attended to witness KCF and NCCK delegates participate in communion and worship side by side. In his sermon during the communion service, Rev. Kang Myung Chul, the chair of the KCF stressed that the churches in the North and South must be the agencies of peace-making in spite of all barriers and obstacles. Rev. Kim Young Ju gave brief greetings talking about the importance of having a peace treaty in the Korean peninsula, and Dr. Suh Bohyug spelled out the contents of peace treaty articles drafted by the NCCK.

       

    • Taize Community (Taize, France): July 4
    • NCCK traveled to France to learn more about the spirituality in the Taize Community. Brother Alois, Prior of Taize, told us that many young people seem to be attracted by the spirituality of simplicity, humbleness and sharing in the Taize community. He shared about their involvement in the peace works and humanitarian initiatives for Syrian refugees. Brother Alois also shared that they have been able to send humanitarian aid to North Korea and will continue to do so as long as they are able. Before leaving the community, NCCK had the opportunity to participate in the evening prayer service with Brother Alois giving a special prayer for peace in Korea.

       

    • World Council of Churches (Geneva, Switzerland): July 6
    •  The NCCK delegation had an opportunity to learn more about the life and mission of the WCC, specifically their Youth Engagement programs, Ecumenical Theological Education programs, and the Justice and Peace Pilgrimage program. NCCK spoke more with Dr. Peter Prove giving more of an update on the progress of the campaign. The NCCK delegation discussed with Dr. Martin Robra how WCC and NCCK can contribute to peace-building in the Northeast Asia through the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace 2019 that will focus on the Korean peninsula.

       

    • World Alliance of YMCA (Geneva, Switzerland): July 6
    •  NCCK met with World Alliance YMCA Secretary General, Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik. He spoke specifically about the new direction YMCA is moving toward that includes a space for justice and peace advocacy works. It was a brief meeting but powerful nonetheless.Follow up: First, the World Alliance of YMCA has agreed to adopt a resolution on a Korea peace treaty in its General Assembly meeting next year. Second, it has also agreed to participate in the 8.15 Sunday Prayer Worship for Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Third, the YMCA will request its national offices to write their respective governments to support the peace treaty campaign.

     

    Evaluation

    All in all, the campaign was a success. The NCCK delegation has reaffirmed the strong prayers, commitment and support of its partner churches/organizations in Europe for peace and reunification in the Korean peninsula. The NCCK has learned about many peace initiatives in which its partners are engaged. Especially the spirit of hospitality that Rev. Dr. Derek Browning (Church of Scotland) stressed was a key theological concept penetrating the NCCK peace treaty campaign as we Christians are obliged to welcome strangers and live peacefully with the people/communities with different identities.The NCCK delegates could meet with the leaders of partner churches/organizations as well as political leaders who are all in support of a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula. We believe that all those people will be a powerful human resource that supports and establishes a permanent state of peace.

     

    A more thorough evaluation will be organized in August.

     

    이전글 Interview with Dr. David Suh
    다음글 WCC visits NCCK and talks with new South Korean President Moon Jae-In