Global Ministries Welcomes Steps Toward Peace and Reconciliation in Korea:
The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries joins Methodist and ecumenical partners in Korea and around the world in welcoming the declaration today, April 27, that North and South Korea will work toward a permanent peace treaty, ending years of tension, and will move toward reunification. This is wonderful, momentous news for which we have prayed for decades.
We rejoice that leaders from North and South Korea met at Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which separates the two countries, to proclaim a new day of peace and reconciliation. The DMZ was established when the fighting ended in 1953 without a formal peace agreement.
The April summit brought together President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Their declaration gives rise to the hope for stable peace and relations between South and North Korea, as well as steps toward reunification and transformation of the DMZ into a “peace zone.”
We prayerfully wish that these two leaders will lead, and that their neighbors will be supportive of their efforts in diplomacy, also involving China and the United States. We are thankful for this marvelous encounter.
We hope that God will heal and resolve the long-standing pain and wounds among the nations, so that two Koreas will celebrate the beauty of one people and share the possible resurrection of peace and harmony.
In celebrating the dawn of a new era for peace, let us continue to solidify the foundation laid in the Panmunjom Declaration. We send our prayers to President Trump for critical leadership of sustaining peace in the peninsula. With Korean Christians we pray for the Korean peninsula to become nuclear free and free of war threats. May we work together for global peace through our witness to Jesus Christ and to justice.
The United Methodist Church and Global Ministries has long joined with the Korean Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches in Korea, the World Council of Churches and others in overtures and actions aimed at permanent peace, reconciliation and reunification in Korea.
The United Methodist General Conference, the denomination’s policy-making legislature, has adopted numerous resolutions over the years calling for bilateral diplomatic and human contacts aimed at a comprehensive peace and lasting reconciliation in Korea. One such resolution, “Korea Peace, Justice and Reunification," can be read online at http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/book-of-resolutions-korea-peace-justice-and-reunification.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung Thomas Kemper
Episcopal Leader, Wisconsin Area General Secretary
President, Global Ministries Global Ministries