The World Council of Churches (WCC) has renewed its call to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula through negotiation rather than spiralling confrontation, following North Korea’s 6th nuclear weapon test on Sunday 3 September 2017.
‘The WCC calls on all parties to refrain from further escalation, to step back from this dangerous precipice, to take the path of dialogue and engagement, and to develop new initiatives for crisis management and tension reduction’, said Peter Prove, Director of the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. ‘The risk of conflict – whether by design or by mishap – and the magnitude of the consequences are too great to allow the present course to continue, and cannot serve the interests of any party in this situation.’
Now is the time for diplomacy, not for brinksmanship, he concluded. ‘We call on all WCC member churches to hold the people and churches of the Korean peninsula and of the northeast Asian region in their prayers, and to accompany and support them in their witness for peace and reconciliation.’
You can read the latest statement from the WCC on North Korea on its website.
Analysis: peace on the Korean peninsula
It is important that the worldwide Church plays a mutual and cooperate role in the search for peace between North and South Korea says Christine Elliott, Director of World Church Programmes for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). Churches have also been challenged by North Koreans to call for the sanctions on North Korea to be lifted and CTBI has been asked to take the lead on exploring a response to this. Read the full analysis
Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula (EFK) – Leipzig, Germany on 7-8 July
A number of statements were issued at this meeting of churches and related organisations from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and seven other countries.