Korean bishops say prayer led to peace agreement

Korean bishops say the peace agreement between North and South Korea is an answered prayer.

“The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Reunification on the Korean Peninsula is a historical event.

It “opens the era of reunification of the Korean peninsula and is a gospel of hope on this earth,” Archbishop Kim Hee-Jung of Gwangju says.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In signed the Declaration.

In it they promise “there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.”

The Declaration agrees to “complete denuclearisation [and] a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

The two leaders agreed to strive for a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 war, which was halted by an armistice.

The Declaration also binds the leaders to involving China and the United States in negotiations to formally end the war.

Archbishop Kim says he expects “the fruits of this inter-Korean summit [at which the Declaration was signed], which God has made in response to our prayers and efforts, will be more energised by the unification ministry and private exchanges that the Korean Catholic Church has promoted during that time.”

In the Declaration the leaders promise to undertake increased exchanges, visits, and cooperation between the North and South.

This aims to promote a sense of unity and to enable families separated during the Korean War to reunify.

Archbishop Kim says the Catholic Church in South Korea has actively engaged in private exchanges and cooperation efforts with North Korea in the past.

It has worked on this through the bishops’ National Reconciliation Committee and Caritas International Korea.

“Since 1965, the Korean Catholic Church has been praying for the true peace of the two Koreas and the reconciliation of the nation on June 25 every year,” he says.

“Until the day when complete peace is established on the Korean peninsula and divided peoples are united, the Catholic Church of Korea will accompany the journey for reconciliation of the people in unity.”

The Declaration presents a turn-around from the situation between the two Koreas last year.

At that time Pyongyang and the President of the United States taunted each other with nuclear threats.

However, in January, the North Korean dictator said he was open to talks.

Within weeks, Korean athletes marched under one flag at the Winter Olympics.

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News category: World.

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