Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How Do We Achieve Peace In Korea?

In recent months, we have heard a lot about peace on the Korean Peninsular. Recently, the relationship has become frozen with the nuclear experiments and the long-range  rocket firing. South Korea in retaliation has closed the Kaesong factory complex managed together with the North. International sanctions against the North will be tightened and expanded. In the Peace Weekly column, the display of military  power on both sides is a return to the cold war days.

What is the reason for the sudden drop in the temperature of the cold war? The columnist sees it in a lack of trust. In many areas, the North has brought about the situation with the nuclear experiments and the launching of the rocket but here, he says,  we have two issues we need to remember.

Can we say that South Korea has shown trust towards the North in its policies? If we say we have   steadfastly trusted the North in our policies we are....    
For well over a half a century our relations with the North have not been one of trust. We have been weary in our relationships; if we were somewhat more flexible, we would not have closed down the Kaesong project: a symbol of our desire for unification.

Have we acted to receive trust from the North in our policies?  Our humanitarian aid often has been politically motivated. We have considered unification as hitting the jackpot. This motto has not been a reason to nurture trust. During the cold war the iron fence was in place, the South envisaged unification by the collapse of the North, while the North considered communization of the South. The North would not  countenance the former nor the South the latter, which makes the unification dream unrealistic.

If we want reconciliation and peace we need the two sides to meet and begin talking: more often the better. The closing of the Kaesong factory complex is a great sadness.  It doesn't mean that we want to use  some magic words to reopen the factory, but we do not want to slacken our consciousness and we need to continue looking for openings to begin talks. Christians have  prayer always available.

We need to think hard and in depth on what is necessary for the two Koreas to put aside their estrangement and sit and talk.

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