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Ecumenical Forum for Peace of APAY

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작성자 관리자 작성일19-08-07 17:26 조회317회



Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula

2019 Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 10 ~ 12 July 2019 with a theme “Seek Peace and Pursue It” (Ps 34:14), participated by 46 ecumenical leaders not only from the Korean Peninsula - NCC-Korea, YMCA of Korea, Korea YWCA as well as four delegates from the Korea Christian Federation (KCF, DPRK) but also from wider ecumenical circle around the world. The forum was organized jointly, by WCC and NCC-K, where Nam Boo-Won, GS of APAY, was also invited.

The three-day meeting included KCF-NCCK bilateral meeting on the first day. The 2nd day’s forum started with an opening worship/prayer, followed by greetings from WCC and opening statements from NCC-K and KCF. Thereafter, a Skype conversation with WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse TVEIT on the current issues pertaining to Korean Peninsula peace building. In the afternoon, time was allocated for sharing Atlanta Roundtable for Peace on the Korean Peninsula held on 9-11 November 2018 as well as a report on DMZ Human Chain and Peace Treaty Campaign by NCC-K. This was followed by a Panel discussion on developments in the search for peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, as well as on sanctions regime and its impact on dialogue for peace, diaconal ministry and development cooperation on the Korean Peninsula.

The third day program began with a re-cap of previous day’s proceedings. Then the forum was divided into groups to brainstorm on next steps/ecumenical initiatives to support dialogue for peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula. After each group reporting back on their discussion outcome, a plenary was held to discuss how world ecumenical circle could recommit to ecumenical accompaniment for peace, reunification and development cooperation on the Korean Peninsula. The Forum ended with a closing worship, followed by the adoption of a Communique based on the outcome of the discussions and brainstorming during the three-day forum. The following is some of the statements drawn from the Communique:

“The EFK reaffirms its commitment to the vision of peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, and to the realization of the joint inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration as the framework for achieving peace. As stated in the Panmunjom Declaration, there must be no more war on the Korean Peninsula. There must be an end to the longstanding division and confrontation that have afflicted the region. A formal end to the Korean War must be declared, and the Armistice Agreement replaced as soon as possible by a peace treaty, and a permanent and solid peace regime established. The objective of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula must be pursued, within the larger objective of a nuclear-free world. We reaffirm the principles of self-determination for the Korean people and inter-Korean leadership for the peace building.

We fully respect the desire of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North) and the Republic of Korea (South) to thoroughly maintain their national self-reliance stance in the process of implementing the Panmunjom Declaration and September Pyongyang Joint Declaration, and we heartily support this desire. For the purpose of fostering the positive atmosphere of the improving relations and letting this relationship shine as a meaningful result of peace and reunification, it is important to put an end to policies of dependence on foreign forces, marring the spirit of independence and encroaching upon the common interests of the nation.

We renew our commitment to promoting peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, and oppose the anti-reunification and anti-peace forces that increase the tension on the Korean Peninsula and run counter to the improvement of North-South relations. We also denounce the joint military exercises and oppose them as a key factor that keeps the situation tense on and around the Korean Peninsula. Cold War inspired forces, which continue to solidify the division of the Korean Peninsula, should stop their anti-reunification and anti-peace activities that are struggling to bring inter-Korean relations back to those in the period before the publication of the Panmunjom Declaration, challenging the aspiration of the Korean nation and the expectations of the international community.

We call for the full implementation of the DPRK-US Joint Statement in Singapore. We note the positive steps taken by the DPRK and call on the US to follow suit in full implementation of the joint US-DPRK Statement. We commit to undertaking solidarity actions in support thereof.

We call for the withdrawal of the US policy of hostility against the North, and for an end to US, UN and other sanctions and policies of ‘maximum pressure’. We call for the immediate reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Mt. Kumgang tourism, and the promotion of people to people exchanges and cooperation.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Korean War in 2020, we will support reconciliation worship services and peace building events in Washington DC and elsewhere, and pledge to work together for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the region by ending the Korean War and establishing a Korean peace treaty.

The economic sanctions and related policies (including travel restrictions) that continue to be imposed against the DPRK without relaxation poison the political environment for progress towards peace, seriously impede possibilities for people-to-people encounter especially between North and South Koreans and between North Koreans and US Americans, and increasingly obstruct humanitarian access and diaconal cooperation. We therefore will explore ways in which we can raise awareness of the negative impacts of sanctions, and scale up advocacy for their relaxation and removalWe continue to uphold in prayer and to accompany in solidarity Korean Christians, and actively seek alliances with all organizations and people of good will who seek peace on the Korean Peninsula, in the region, and the world.”

(If you are interested to get a full Communique, kindly contact APAY office )

Written by Nam Boo Won, General Secretary APAY





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