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North-South Exchange Coalition Resolution 2019
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A Resolution from the International Seminar of the Korean Church’s Coalition for North-South Exchange:
Faced with a historical turning point, the Korean Church, surmounting the wall between the conservatives and the progressives, founded the Korean Church’s Coalition for North-South Exchange (Coalition) in August 2018, confessing that "peace on the Korean Peninsula and the survival of the people are the core missions of the Church." The Coalition, declaring that exchanges and cooperation led by the people are the basis of inter-Korean reconciliation and a permanent peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula, pledged to devote itself to the mission of service and sharing with the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of North Korea.
We, who have been striving to bring about peace on the Korean Peninsula and around the world, gathered in Seoul on March 4th and 5th under the theme of, " Towards Healing and Reconciling Ministry," to encourage the establishment of the Coalition and learn about reconciliation and peace ministry. At the seminar, we reaffirmed the "Guidelines for Sharing" declared by the World Council of Churches, that there are no one-sided donors nor one-sided recipients of the mission of sharing, and that we believe we are all true partners who share what we have received from the grace of God. In addition, we have also confessed that the continued meetings, exchanges, and cooperation between South and North Korean citizens and the international community is the best way to break down the barriers of hostility and distrust in a divided era and to achieve reconciliation and peace.
The peace process on the Korean Peninsula that is heading toward the peace, prosperity, and unification of Korea is now an irreversible historical imperative. However, the NK-US Hanoi Summit shows that the journey to peace is truly a long way off, and that the two Koreas have only taken the first step along with the international community.
Now, we urge the South and North Korean governments and civil society to resolve the current difficulties caused by the North-U.S. breakdown through active inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation, and we also urge the international community to ease sanctions on the North's livelihood and humanitarian cooperation as long as it has confirmed its willingness to denuclearize. We appeal to the international community to support the resumption of the Kaeseong Industrial Complex and Mount Geumgang tours that are a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, as well as the inter-Korean railroad project, which will serve as a foundation for peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Furthermore, to the South and North Korean Church, to the World Council of Churches, and to the international community we recommend the following:
1. We call for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as global denuclearization through a permanent peace-building process.
2. We call for our partners to join in humanitarian cooperation for the vulnerable especially including children and the disabled.
3. We urge everyone to participate in spreading peace education to correct their perception of the North Korean Church and society, increase peace sensitivity and achieve reconciliation.
4. For overcoming the trauma of division, we appeal for comprehensive healing ministries and for support of people-to-people exchanges with North Korea.
5. We call on the global church and civil society to join us in solidarity for God’s Covenant of Peace including the process for a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula.
The road to reconciliation and peace is truly painful and difficult; however, in mutual trust and hope we will not despair, and we will pray and act together until the day inter-Korean reconciliation and coexistence, and peace in Northeast Asia becomes a reality.
“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19)
March 5th, 2019
Korean Church’s Coalition for North-South Exchange