Monday, August 31, 2015
'Return of the light' is the word used for the end of the Second World War and Korea's freedom from the Japanese. This year was the 70th anniversary, and we still have many of the problems with us from the end of the war. The columnist in the Catholic Times reminds us of the situation.
The comfort women are dying, and we are not closer to a solution or an agreement over compensation. We still need a solution on those who were pro-Japanese Koreans during the war, distortion of history, claims on the Dokdo Island, and similar issues still pending. The end of the war brought joy but also sadness over the division of the country. We have the North Limit Line, political and military problems that remain.
For a Christian, Jesus is the light. At the Paschal liturgy we sing Jesus is our light, but to receive this light we are told we have to face our faults and scars. The light is always shining on the darkness. We can't just concentrate on the darkness of the Japanese occupation, but we need to see the darkness in ourselves.
At the end of the war, Korea's provisional government in exile was not recognized, which did not help solve the problems with compensation, land and the pro-Japanese groups in Korea. The decisions were made by foreign powers, and the problems were stitched over, leaving much in darkness.
Koreans shed much blood but when it came to the armistice agreement, we were missing from the negotiations, there were many mistakes and one was the North Limit Line decision; this decision on the military line on the sea was not made. It was made later without the presence of the two parties. North Korea at that time did not have a maritime military force, and did not express disapproval, which has been a point of controversy.
In solving problems in the social area, we use the three steps: observe, judge and act. On this 70th anniversary of the armistice we should not interpret history for our benefit. We have to see the pain that we are experiencing presently (observe). We don't want to face this with division and war but overcome it with the light of Christ (judge). We don't want to go around in circles with the judgements of the world but (act) in the way Jesus would. When we see reality as it is we have what is necessary to act correctly.